25 April 2017

Building Design – How Does It Increase Property Value?

For any homeowner serious about adding value to property they own, there is a cacophony of information as well as endless listicles of the do’s and don’ts of what you should and shouldn’t do.

This can leave us in a predicament as it often leaves us wondering what is the best way of adding value. When it comes to building design, there is even more information and ideas, as well as suggestions and advice.

As always, the answer depends very much on your property, what style it is, what era it is, the locations and what the current trends are. These are more ideas, springboards for discussion about how you can improve the value of your property with building design.

21 April 2017

My Tips For Getting Your Garden Ready For Summer

As the weather is starting to warm up, it seems to be the time that we all start thinking about how we can get our gardens ready for summer. I know that all we want to actually do is to soak up the sun as soon as it arrives, just in case it disappears again, but it is nice to get your garden in shape before the summer months arrive, so you don't have to fight with weeds rather than enjoy the sun when it does finally arrive.

I try to make sure our garden looks gorgeous as during these months it really does become an extension of our indoor living space. Like another amazingly colourful room that is full of life for the whole family to enjoy. 

So, here are my tips to getting your garden ready for summer:

Outerspace Vodka Touches Down In The UK! And Here's How You Can Win A Bottle

This month, the award winning Outerspace Vodka has launched in the UK selling exclusively through 31Dover, launching on Wednesday 12th April, marking the anniversary of the first human space flight when Yuri Gagarin blasted out of the earth’s atmosphere.

Outerspace Vodka has a truly unique and edgy alien designed bottle and packaging which has made it one of the fastest growing liquor brands globally. Launched in the US just 18 months ago, the distinctive green alien head is attracting something of a cult following among consumers and on social media.

20 April 2017

Travelodge Scarborough St. Nicholas Hotel Review

Travelodge Scarborough, St Nicholas Hotel, Travelodge, Scarborough, St Nicholas Hotel Building, Travelodge Scarborough St Nicholas Hotel

Last weekend saw us travel to Scarborough for a short break. It's not often that we get some time where we are all free, with work and school to fit everything around, and so, we savour every spare minute that we get to spend together. 

After a bit of frustration, and thinking we were going to have to cancel our break to the seaside, Travelodge came to our rescue with a room for the night so that we could take our, very much needed, night away. 

19 April 2017

10 Ways Natural Playgrounds Help Benefit Children’s Development

Playgrounds aren't just about fun, they are a key part of children's development. From confronting danger with climbing structures to social skills garnered by interaction in a play environment, playing outside also helps children grow.

Built using wood, stone, sand and water, natural playgrounds and adventure playgrounds are a growing trend thanks to their sustainability and their suitability in a wide variety of landscapes. Put simply, they blend more seamlessly into different environments – from National Trust parks to schoolyards. And the natural elements of play also benefit children's development.

18 April 2017

3 Problems That Can Stand In The Way Of Your Relationship

You might want the perfect relationship with your other half, but a whole range of issues can get in the way of a happy and lasting partnership. If you’re struggling to keep your relationship strong, the following three problems may be at least partly to blame.

1. A lack of honesty
Honesty is the bedrock of good relationships. Without it, trust can quickly disappear and you might find that you and your partner start to drift apart. Of course, some issues are more difficult than others to be open and honest about. Whether it’s money troubles, jealousy or problems in the bedroom, you might find a range of topics tricky to discuss. However, no matter how awkward the issues may be to bring up, it’s important to make an effort.

14 April 2017

#DiscoverYorkshire | From Countryside to Seaside and Snap to Win

Being a Yorkshire person, I can't tell you just how much loyalty I have towards my County. Not just because it's where I was born, brought up, and brought all my children into the world here, but because it is such an amazing place to be. 

I love how you can go from countryside, in the deeps of the Yorkshire Dales, or even the North York Moors, and yet, at the other side of the County, there is the most amazing seaside towns which offer that British holiday vibes that we all know and love. With some of the best shopping places available in the cities from Leeds, to the quaint cobbled roads, and history filled, York. 

View over the south bay of Scarborough

13 April 2017

Le Rustique Brie de Caractère Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish

I love sharing recipes and so when Le Rustique got in contact and mentioned that they are celebrating with new recipes using honey as the secret ingredient, I just knew that I' love to give them a try. Le Rustique has partnered with food blogger and cheese lover Lavender & Lovage to create unique recipes combining the creamy textures of their Camembert and Brie with the sweet taste of honey in delicious recipes, perfect for picnics. 

After having a look at the recipes they had created, I decided that my favourite was the Le Rustique Brie de Caractère Tartlets with Honey Onion Relish and so I just had to share it.

Weekend Country Escapes In The Dales

It's not often that we get to go away without the children. I mean, trying to find someone who we trust to look after all three of our brood can be hard work. But when we do eventually get a night or 2 to ourselves, I love to look at weekend country escapes.

It means that we can have a break in the countryside, sleep in till the actual morning and go on long walks without lugging a pram and 3 children, who need to stop every 2 minutes, with us.

12 April 2017

Laminate – For Love And Money!

Picking the right kind of flooring can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you’re on the hunt for something child-friendly. Let’s face it, when you have little ones running round your home is never going to be spotless and it’s inevitable that things will get broken, but you can put measures in place to prevent such disasters!

Here at Luxury Flooring we think that the best option when it comes to incorporating kids and interior design is good old laminate!

10 April 2017

Easter Egg Hunt | Can You Spot All The Chocolate Eggs & Bunnies?

With Easter just around the corner, it's time to prepare and get ready for the festivities that are upon us. Eggs galore, chocolate and Easter crafts, there is so much that can be done around the home to get the Easter party started. 

You can also have fun right from the comfort of your own livingroom and have a chance to win a fantastic prize in the Easter Egg Hunt Competition from Rattan Direct. 

7 April 2017

A Living Room Worth Living In

The living room is supposed to be the hub of the family home. It’s a place where you should all be able to gather and relax in front of the TV for a weekend movie night or where you can just drop everything and sink in after a hard day of work. However, there are some who too much on style and not enough on whether a living room is actually liveable in. Here, we’ll look at three major changes that could see it become a room actually worth living in.

3 April 2017

Fun Family Attractions in London

As a Northerner, I have never had the chance to visit London and although I, and the kids, would love to see the amazing sights that are on offer down South, the long train ride with 2 children and a baby had always put me off venturing too far. 

Now J is a little older though and can entertain himself, and play with T and C, it means that we can get further afield and so on the agenda is to finally get down South to our Capital and see all those amazing sights that we can usually only see by searching Google. 

2 April 2017

Start-rite Super Soft Beetlebug Shoes Review

A short while ago, J was sent a lovely pair of shoes from Start-rite to try out and today I thought I'd write about how he's been getting on with them. 

After much deliberation, I had picked out the Super Soft Start-rite Beetlebug Shoes for him as I thought they would give him a good fit with the riptape fastening and protection as the leather will absorb moisture to keep feet dry and they have a lightweight and flexible sole too. 

31 March 2017

Why Switching To LED Lights Is Best

Over the next year we will be remodelling our whole house. From moving our bedroom and extending into the attic to create a huge master bedroom up there, to sorting both bathrooms, and the new en-suite, and a brand new kitchen too.

I've been looking around for inspiration and ways to make our kitchen stand out from the crowd, and with the help of some nifty ideas, creating some beautiful lighting features too. When it does come to our kitchen make-over though, I will be moving to LED lights to create our foodie sanctuary with the help of www.thelightingsuperstore.co.uk

30 March 2017

Making The Choice Of Boys Swimwear

Finding the best swimsuit for adults itself is a very difficult task and parents face another challenging task of getting hold of the best swimsuits for their kids. Many children like spending their time in swimsuits during the summer season and therefore getting hold of a swimsuit that they love wearing is very important. Because children swimwear is specifically designed to appeal to different varieties of kids, multiple colours, styles and patterns are available. There are different varieties available in both girls and boys swimwear and all that parents need to do is find the swimwear that best suits their girl or their boy. Children swimwear is particularly created to appear cute while serving its function at the same time. There are guidelines that need to be followed when looking for children swimwear and especially the boys.

27 March 2017

Is Your Pond Ready For Spring?

We don’t often think about our ponds over the winter and many of us prefer to cover them over, so animals and birds don’t accidentally fall in! Spring isn’t just a time for rebirth, chocolate eggs and the first time you’ve really had a chance to relax since Christmas. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get the pond back into action, as you’ll want the entire garden shipshape in plenty of time for warm spring afternoons and lazy summer evenings.

23 March 2017

It's The Finishing Touches That Make The Room Unique

We are currently gathering all of the supplies necessary to create our new living room. I've been wanting to redecorate for a while but have been putting it off whilst J is so young. You know what sticky fingers are like around wallpaper!

What I've realised whilst scoping out everything that we need and collecting everything up, is that we can pick out the wallpaper, the carpet, the new suite, but the room isn't complete without the accessories - they are in fact what makes the room and finishes it off into the design you pick. 

Cooking Healthy Meals With WW Smart Kitchen

Being a mum is hard work sometimes and it gets even harder when mealtimes hit. Now we could go for the easy options and cook frozen foods, but I am a lover of homemade and so try to cook proper meals as much as I can.

It is hard though to work out what goes with what. Okay, I can rustle up a good meal, but it's good to try new things, especially with the kids so they're growing up having a varied diet. That's why I love recipe boxes as it means that they send out the ingredients and tell me exactly what to do to get it to the finished meal.

22 March 2017

The Kitchen Of A Food Lover

Some people are happy with a basic kitchen, perfect for cooking pasta dishes and chicken nuggets. Some of us fantasise about kitchens that dreams are made of. If you love cooking, you need a kitchen which is amenable to experimentation. There needs to be extensive surface space, incredible storage, and all sorts of fancy gadgets and appliances. If you love cooking, your kitchen becomes your living room, and it needs to be perfect.

21 March 2017

Interior Design On A Budget

Just because you don’t have the funds that doesn’t mean your home should lack flair. These days it’s all about upcycling and paying attention to our eco-footprint anyway, so anyone can update their interiors. If you have a lot of passion for your home but not a lot of money, read these top tips for re-designing your interiors on a budget. 

18 March 2017

The Secrets Of The Eco-Friendly Home

The eco-friendly concept is often associated with expensive technology and projects to save the planet. The image of millionaires paying to help to regrow large elements of the Amazon rainforest pops in mind. In truth, you don’t need to one of the wealthiest persons around to help to save the planet and make room for nature in your neighbourhood. Most people don’t even know what they could do to build a greener and safer world every day. It doesn’t have to break the bank: You can help whatever the budget you are working with. 

Creating The Perfect Style For The Older Man

When it comes to clothing purchases in our household, I'm usually the one doing the buying. Even for my husband, I end up choosing out his looks as he just doesn't have the eye for style. 

My husband does like wearing nice clothes, and even though he would be classed as an older gentleman, he doesn't like to dress that way. Sticking with younger styles and fashions, which I love as I don't see why we should have to change our style just because we get older. 

17 March 2017

Everything You Need To Know Before You Convert Your Loft

If you’ve got a loft lying there vacant, it makes sense to use it. But how do you go about converting an attic, how much will it cost, and is it worth all the effort? If you’re thinking about creating a new room in the eaves, here’s everything you need to know. 

Is your loft ripe for conversion?
If you have an attic, you may assume that it’s possible to convert it, but this is not always the case. If you’ve got a very low ceiling, for example, or the space is small, it may not be possible to use the space for anything other than storage. To determine whether it’s possible to convert your loft, you’ll need to contact some building firms like detaildevelopmentsltd.co.uk. Once they have explored, they will be able to tell you whether the plan would get the green light, and give you an idea of cost. In most cases, planning permission will not be required, but there are regulations and stipulations in place, so make sure you’re doing things by the book. 

Tips For A Sicilian Family Adventure

With three sons, going on a family holiday is always an adventure; no matter the destination. Nonetheless, when you purposefully want to ride the adventurous wave and give your family a trip to remember, Sicily is the place to go. With an endless choice of activities, food, and beaches galore, visiting the Italian island will leave you breathless. Booking a place to stay is easy, it might even be worth finding your family a villa as self catering holidays in Sicily provide you with an opportunity to really feel at home on this glorious island. All you have to do is pick your lodging, pack your bags, and Sicily will do the rest. Here are 5 activities to get you started:

16 March 2017

The Boring (But Necessary) Bits Of House Buying

Buying a house is a stressful process for anyone, and if it’s your first house you’ll be ridiculously excited at the prospect of having something with your name on that is exclusively yours. As first-time buyers, you’re probably thinking about looking for a house that suits you now, as looking too far ahead isn’t the done thing. Plus, you can always sell your house and buy again anyway, right?

My 2017 Mother's Day Gift List

With Mother's Day less than 2 weeks away, on Sunday 26th March, I thought I'd show off what is available at the moment for those mums out there - the perfect gifts for Mother's Day. Some items are perfect if you're on a budget or for if you want to splurge, but most of all, they're all with mum in mind. So here is my gift list for 2017...

15 March 2017

Thanks Mum | My Memories Of Journeys With My Mum

As I'm coming up to turning 30 years old (Ahh! How did that happen?) I look back and don't remember much that doesn't include my children or my husband. But I always remember trips with my mum. 

Okay, none of us could drive at the time so it was actually trips with me, my mum and my dad, but he would usually be in a zone of his own driving and listening to The Eagles on repeat. So it ended up being just me and my mum chatting on journeys.

14 March 2017

Storage Solutions- Make Your Space Go Further

Whether you're downsizing or just looking to optimize the space you have, it’s never easy to edit a home. When you need to make everything more compact or easily storable it’s difficult to know where to begin. Our sentimental attachment to items and subjective approach makes it hard to see clearly at times. If you need so helpful tips or inspiration about storage or maximizing space in your home, take a look at these ideas…

13 March 2017

Here Comes The Sun! Family-Friendly Days Out For Spring/Summer

After what seems like endless months of grey skies and dark mornings, the sun has finally appeared, and the countdown to summer is on! When you’ve got kids, nice weather can make all the difference when it comes to planning family outings and short breaks. If you’re looking forward to some family-friendly spring/summer adventures, here are some great ideas.

Hit the beach
It’s not often that we get the chance to make the most of the beautiful beaches in the UK, so if sunny weather is forecast, don’t waste the opportunity to splash around and build some sandcastles. Book a b & b in Blackpool, get your pulses racing at the Pleasure Beach and enjoy a donkey ride in front of the Blackpool Tower or head over to Filey or Whitby for a day of outdoor fun topped off with fish and chips. Down south, you can catch rays on the golden sands of Brighton, Poole, Exmouth and Perranporth. A day at the beach is a great, affordable day out, which you can easily extend if you want to get away in the half-term holidays or you’ve got a free weekend coming up.

Fun Outdoor Activities To Keep Kids Busy

As a mum to three children, I know full well that some times I will be left with my heart in my mouth as they go off in to their adventures and push the boundaries to reach new heights. Whether this is trying to climb the highest tree, or zooming around on their skates. us parents have a raw deal when it comes to watching them fly around without a care in the world. 

I do think it is great for children to get outdoors and show off their adventurous side though. And with the weather being so lovely this week, it has been amazing to see the children pushing themselves and trying new things. 

9 March 2017

Bake It 'Till You Make It: Tips For Making A Business Out Of Baking

Having a hobby is a great way to pass your free time. Being able to wind down and do something you enjoy is an important way to take your mind off work too. But what happens when your hobby has a chance of turning into a full time career? Living off something that you love doing is rare, so when you have the chance of making that switch, do it! And if baking happens to be that particular hobby, turning it into your career should be a piece of cake; here are 5 tips to get you started!

7 March 2017

Striking the Right Balance Between Being a Mum and Having a Social Life

Life as a mum to little ones is full of precious moments, but even though you might have dreamed of being at home with the kids, there are times when you can feel a little bit isolated and lonely. It’s not always easy to combine looking after a young family with a social life, so you have to find nifty ways of being a good mum and making sure you don’t go crazy because you’re not getting enough adult conversation during the day.

If your social life has shrunk to the five-minute chat at the school gate, try some of these ideas to become more sociable.

6 March 2017

Nifty Nursery Design Ideas That Won’t Eat Your Savings

When you’ve had a baby before, you realise that spending hundreds of pounds on a nursery is a bad idea. Not because you don’t want your new addition to have a lovely bedroom but because it’s not necessary. The fact is that babies outgrow their nurseries incredibly quickly, so spending a large sum of money on creating the perfect space is somewhat of a waste. 

The good news is that even if you decide to decorate your new addition’s nursery on a budget, you can still make it a beautiful space. Believe it or not, creating a beautiful nursery on a budget is much easier than you would think, it just takes a little creativity, that’s all. With that in mind, below are a selection of nifty nursery design ideas for when you’re on a small budget.

Unique Ways To Update Your Family Bathroom

One of the top rooms you will use the most in your home is the family bathroom. After all, it’s normally bustling with life in the mornings and evenings. And as it’s so essential, you need to make sure it’s in top form for your family. And you can do this via a number of easy updates. In fact, here are some unique ways to update your family bathroom.

Go high-tech with the room 
The first thing you should do is add some tech in the bathroom. After all, it’s an excellent way to keep your kids busy while in the bathroom. And it’s a good idea to move with the times when it comes to your bathing quarters. One thing you might want to get is a tablet holder. You can get many which you can attach to the wall and then pull out when your kid is in the bath or the shower. That way, they can enjoy their bath while watching their favourite TV show or movie. And you could even get a phone holder for the bathroom too. That way, you can ensure it doesn’t get wet in the bathroom. And it’s still easy to get to if you need to answer a call or text while you are in the bathing quarters!

Staying on Top of Life - 5 Things Mums Should Do Each Day

When you’re a mum to young children, it’s very easy for time to get away from you and to end the day feeling like you haven’t achieved very much. That’s when setting yourself a minimum set of goals every day can come in really handy - especially on those days when you feel like life’s all a bit too much.

Write a To-Do List
Being organised is a lot easier if you write things down. Then you can tick them off as you go along. Maybe you’ve got to fill in a tax return, or make the family dental appointments. Some things will take hours, others just a quick phone call. Don’t be over-ambitious and aim to do more than you can manage; just use a to-do list as a way of prioritising what’s most important to get completed each day.

Zoflora Hello Spring Limited Edition Fragrance

As a bit of a clean freak, I love trying out new products or new scents of products and so when I saw that Zoflora had released a special Hello Spring, Limited Edition fragrance, I new that I just had to give it a try. 

Zoflora is an easy to use, multi-room and multi-use disinfectant that banishes 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. To use you simply dilute in water and wipe or spray around your home, you can also pour it neat down drains. 

5 March 2017

Luxurious Treats For Mother's Day From The Yorkshire Soap Company

When it comes to having 2 minutes peace - which doesn't happen that often, I love nothing more than having a nice relaxing bath with bubbles and scented soaps galore. It's not often that I treat myself and so I do like to indulge in a little light therapy at The Yorkshire Soap Company to stock up on bath treats. 

Founded in 2004, The Yorkshire Soap Company started it's life in a small kitchen at home, with a handful of soapy ingredients, some cake moulds and baking cases, and this was all it took to start up one of my favourite soap companies. 

2 March 2017

Using Donor Eggs: What To Expect When You're Not Expecting Yet

As months of trying to conceive pass, and one period shows up after another, many couples find themselves sitting in a fertility clinic waiting for answers to this devastating puzzle. When infertility rears its ugly head, some men and women find themselves considering other options in an effort to obtain the family they’ve always dreamt of.

One of those options is donor egg IVF.

1 March 2017

These Details Will Immediately Deter A Home Buyer

I’ve written quite a few articles on selling a home. I’ve talked about how to get your home ready for a sale and what to do if you’re sick of waiting for your home to sell. But one of the things I haven’t touched on is what makes home buyers avoid your house completely. They stop thinking about buying your home and start looking at the one across the street. These are some of the things that you’ll need to fix in your property before you consider putting it on the market. 

28 February 2017

Converting Our Attic Into A Master Bedroom

Over the next few months we will be taking steps to make our attic and master bedroom. We've been thinking about this for a while and now we've decided that it's the right time to get it done. 

Now I must admit that our house is a suitable size for us and we don't really need to do anything to it to fit our needs, but sometimes, I just look at our home and picture how we can add value to it and make more space for our family, especially as the kids grow older and need their own space.

We currently have three bedrooms. One for us, one that T and C share and a third for J. It's fine for us and the boys like sharing. But I am aware that as they hit their teens this will probably change. Rather than uping sticks and moving somewhere new, it makes so much more sense to alter our house to fit our needs.

The Ultimate Guide to Adding Style to Your Garden

A garden is a sensory experience but all too often, when we style our gardens we forget this. This is the only guide you need to add not only style to your outdoor space, but colour and texture, and all without compromising on practicality and function.

26 February 2017

WTBW | Rocking Clothing From The Little Rock Store

As a person, I'm not really in to the standard fashion and so when it comes to dressing the kids, I love dressing them in alternate fashion. Leggings and tights are a firm favourite the dress the boys in plus they have the added extra in that they are super comfy to wear.

Littlerockstore is the online retailer of official band merchandise for babies and kids - their mission being to share their love of music and of kids. Offering a whole range of fashion items for some of the most favourite pop / rock bands for a baby, toddler or child. They offer their customers the widest possible range of band merchandise for children.

25 February 2017

Win | 1 of 2 Fingerlings Baby Monkeys

The Fingerlings come to life and are ready to be played with. They have 40 ways to play and 50 animated sounds to let you know how they are feeling. You'll go bananas for these perfect primate pets.

These sweet and sometimes silly critters with their realistic monkey sounds will have you falling in love with them. With adorable blinking eyes, head turns, plus hands that grip and a curly hanging tail, you can swing them, pet them, kiss them, and rock them to sleep - how cute!

Do You Know How To Heat Your Home Efficiently?

Saving money is so important when you're on a tight budget and so leaning that you can save money and heat your home efficiently by looking after your heating sources, is important. 

I was working my way through this survey and realised that I had never actually ever bled my radiators and that this could be affecting the way they work and the heat they output. I never knew this, it never even crossed my mind that I should bleed them often. 

Although when it comes to my boiler I take no chances. Once a year it gets a service to make sure it is running properly. The survey from Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies got me thinking about how I can use my home to efficiently heat itself up without wasting money.

23 February 2017

Why Your Flooring is the Main Foundation of your Design

Midland Polished Concrete create stunning concrete floors in businesses and homes and across the country. And they have decided to share some of their secrets for designing the best flooring that works in your home.

Arguably, flooring is one of the most important components in the interior design of a room and across the home. The style you choose lays the foundation for the rest of the design scheme, which is why it is so important to get it right.

22 February 2017

Big Luxuries In Little Spaces

Moving into a new house is exciting, but usually with starter homes, they are built in on the small side. Generally, interior decorating in a home means purchasing some luxury items to make your home sparkle. For the kitchen, it’s the built-in appliances that make your day easier. For the living room, it’s the rugs and original oak bookcases. When you arrange your child’s bedroom, buying a mid-sleeper bed with drawers and a desk built underneath it means saving space in a small room.

20 February 2017

Why Glass Components Won’t Shatter Your Style

A material with almost magical qualities, the addition of glass in any building project is worth considering. But just what benefits will it bring?

The use of glass as a building material is increasing, and no wonder when you look at the long list of benefits. But there is usually one concern with glass – it’s perceived fragility.

18 February 2017

My Style | Dresses For A Spring Look

Finding stylish clothing has never been my strong point. I'm usually a leggings and a long top type of girl. But recently, I've been looking at my style and trying to dress better, to make myself feel better and it's given my confidence a huge boost. 

From wearing boring, slummy mummy clothing, I have changed to wearing dresses more and bigger patterns. Although I do still love my ankle boots and sometimes even wear them with my dresses - I think it's great to mix styles up some times. 

How Baby-Proof Is Your Home?

When it comes to baby-proofing, I must admit that I am a bit paranoid. I have visions of my children hurting themselves and so I try to take every precaution necessary to make sure that it doesn't happen. But did you know that half a million children under the age of 4 are hurt in the home every year. 

Injuries can range from bumps, bruises and scrapes, to serious injuries requiring hospital stays. There are a small number of fatalities too because of accidents in the home and what makes it worse is the fact that most these accidents were preventable.

17 February 2017

Encouraging Movement: Building Your Child’s Physical Ability

Movement – what does the word mean to you? Is it simply a functional thing your body does, or is it something more? For fitness enthusiasts and athletes, movement enables them to perform impressive feats and stay healthy. Whether it’s running, climbing, crawling or jumping, the movements the body is capable of should be something to be explored and enjoyed.

This is especially true for children. As children grow, encouraging movement at an early age helps strengthen their bodies and improve their health. Movement has always been part of childhood – whether it’s clambering around play areas or climbing trees. In a country where 10% of children in the first year of school are obese, encouraging physical play is a must.

16 February 2017

How Do You Keep Your Children Entertained At Home?

Entertaining children can sometimes be a pain in the metaphorical bum - especially in the school holidays. Trying to think up new adventures every day so that they don't get bored of everything can be a little infuriating.

When I think about it though, even though they have their own bedroom with most of their toys up there, it's not often they actually use is - apart from sleeping that is. The boys actually spend most of their time in the living room as that's where most things are that they use the most. 

15 February 2017

National No Smoking Day

National No Smoking Day – Wednesday, March 8th

National No Smoking Day has a long history in the UK, with the first ever event taking place back in 1983, on Ash Wednesday. Since then, the Day has taken place on the second Wednesday in March each year with the British Heart Foundation backing the idea since 2011. No Smoking Day promotes giving up through positive encouragement, education on the benefits of stopping smoking, and advice about the best ways to quit.

10 February 2017

For When You're Done Adulting

No matter how much we love our kids, there are always times when we just need a little bit of a break. It could be that going to the toilet in peace for 5 minutes is the amount of time that you need; maybe you need a little while longer. It’s not a bad thing to crave a solitary moment or even a getaway to reconnect with your partner. But what exactly can you do with kid-free time?

Get Them Covered
First thing’s first - before you start planning anything, make sure that you have the appropriate arrangements set in place. Childcare is an important issue, and very few of us can pack our bags and leave spur of the moment if we haven’t got somebody there to look after the little ones. Family members and friends will need plenty of notice to get themselves organised and ready; what comes as second nature to you with your children may not be as natural to them. Find out what dates they are available and then book to do whatever you have set - you don’t want to have something set in stone before realising that nobody is available to lend a hand. 

9 February 2017

Valentine's Day | How To Celebrate When You've Been At It Long Term

If you've been together for a long time, like my husband and I - 12 years and still going strong-ish - then you'll know that after the first couple of years, Valentine's Day doesn't factor in as an important day any more. 

There's no more need for big gestures and us parents would be just happy with a 20 minute bath in peace rather than a date night and a dozen red roses. So this year I thought I would write about the best items to buy to celebrate Valentine's when you've been together an age. Word of warning, it includes a lot of alcohol!

Create a Cosy Living Room for Relaxation Bliss

There’s nothing like plopping yourself down in a comfy chair to relax with your family after a hard day at work. But if you don’t have a lovely living room retreat to sink into, you might have a tough time relaxing at all! Whether your living room needs a few minor adjustments, or a complete overhaul to turn it into a comfy family space, the following tips for creating a cosy living room will give you some ideas:

8 February 2017

Plan The Best Beach Holiday With Your Family

Sea, sun and cocktail
Everyone loves beach holidays, and how could they not? Sea, sun, and sand castle, it’s hard to find anything to complain about! Beach holidays can be a little difficult to organise if you are travelling with children. Not only if the skin of young children a lot more sensitive than adults, but they are not enthusiast swimmers either. Besides, children tend to get easily bored: You might love the idea of lying down in the sun for the next couple of hours, but little ones need more fun and entertainment for their holiday! So how do you plan the perfect beach holiday that can please everyone?

The First Things You Should Add to Your First Home

If you're an interior design lover, living in rented homes can impede your creativity somewhat. There are usually rules you need to follow regarding what you can and can't change in the property. Even if you have an easy going landlord, you often have to ask their permission before making any changes. When you buy your own home for the first time, you finally have the chance to decorate your home however you like. Don't like carpets or wallpaper? You no longer have to have them if you don't want to. You can do whatever you want with your new home. Here are some recommendations for what you should prioritise.

7 February 2017

Trying A Family Cruise For Our Holiday This Year

I think as a family, it is important to take some time out from every day life and go away for some time together, just some time away from it all. It's not often that we get to go away though. With my husband working weird hours and myself working nearly every spare hours I've got, it's not that easy to organise time off.

But my husband is due some time off over the summer holidays and I can make sure to get myself ready for the break and put on an out of office for some time. It means that we might finally get to have a long deserved break as a family. 

The one thing I have always wanted to do was to take a cruise. I've always assumed that this is something that we would have to do later in life though as they never look that family friendly. That is, until I saw the Disney Cruise Liner at IGLU Cruise which made me change my mind entirely. 

IGLU Cruise is an independent cruise travel agency that provides exceptional cruise packages to many destinations around the world, catering to those seeking a luxury cruise line ship, to the family friendly cruise ships packed with on-board activities - The Disney Magic one is perfect for a family like us. 

The Disney Cruise Line sets every family member on course for spectacular Disney entertainment and unrivalled relaxation while enjoying unique destinations. Offering a full list of entertainment options, including award winning broadway style Disney shows, for both the young and the young at heart there is something for everyone.

Younger children and infants can enjoy supervised activities in engaging spaces whilst teens can chill out in their own New York loft style club and enjoy cool activities including all the latest video games - it seems like it's perfect for everyone!

What's more, whilst the children are enjoying themselves, the adults can indulge in some quality time at the spa and fitness centre or take a dip in the adults only pool.

It's like they've thought of everything. A place for each of the family to enjoy and entertainment for all of us whilst on-board such an amazing cruise liner. 

4 February 2017

Novotel York | When A Romantic Trip Becomes A Family Trip

How amazing is it that for the first time in like forever, we actually managed to get a night book away without the kids. I actually couldn't believe it. Like, we've never been away without them before and we were getting all excited for what would be a nice relaxing night, and no having to get up at the crack of dawn in the morning.

My parents were having the boys over night and we'd been offered a night in Novotel York Centre for the 2 of us to enjoy. We couldn't wait, and the fact that it was my husbands birthday made it all the more special. 

3 February 2017

Emergency Fund: Why You Need One & How To Create It

Life has a habit of catching you unaware sometimes. Let’s face it; anything can happen - an accident, a flood, a car breakdown - and nothing can prepare you for the emotional impact of it. However, you can plan to protect yourself from the financial implications of these disasters, big or small, that seem to crop up all the time. The solution is to build a pot of money to deal with these emergencies - called an emergency fund. 

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio Coffee Machine

As a mum of three, it's safe to say that I drink a lot of coffee, too much perhaps. Coffee at home can get boring though as it's usually just the instant stuff - no frothy cappuccino is sight. Truth be told, I have regularly taken a jaunt into town, just to visit coffee shops to get my fix. 

So when I was sent a Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio coffee machine it was perfect for making my very own barista style coffee at home. 

1 February 2017

Budget-Friendly Ways To Renovate and Update Your Home

I think we all want to make changes to our homes from time to time. Even if you have decorated it just as you want it, after a small amount of time, your tastes will have changed, or there will be a new style that you want to try out. The thing is, though, all of this can cost a lot of money. It is probably the thing that puts us all off changing the look of our homes as often as we’d like to. But there are some cheaper ways to make changes. So here are some budget-friendly ideas that you could try out. Then you can get your home looking as you want it to before you know it!

29 January 2017

Win | Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Irons Ceramic Hair Straighteners

As a busy mum who doesn't have loads of 'me time' available, I try to find products that will get me looking semi-human as quick as possible. Straightening my hair is one of the things that pains me so much as I have really thick hair and I just don't have the time to do it all of the time. 

I was recently sent the Lee Stafford Coco Loco Irons to try out and they have made my straightening time so much easier and have made my hair fell better too. This is down to the ceramic plates on the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo irons that have been infused with coconut oil which keeps my hair looking sleek, smooth and shiny.

Getting Our Groove On with Electric Jukebox

I love listening to music and it's often that I'll have the music channels on, or will be listening to the radio whilst cleaning, cooking, or doing anything to be honest. What annoys me though is that you can't pick your favourite music. There's quite often times where I'll flick between stations to find a song, or they have ad breaks which are just plain annoying.

So when I had the chance to review the Electric Jukebox, I jumped at the chance as it means that I can listen to my very own favourite tracks with no breaks and only the songs I want to have on it playing.

28 January 2017

WTBW | Blade & Rose Leggings

When it comes to clothing for my sons, I like to be a little different. I hate that people try to dictate what they can and can't wear. I just want them to be comfortable and, for J especially, I like him to wear cute patterns and designs.

So when I saw Blade & Rose and found out that you could get leggings, and not only were they beautifully designed leggings, but they were perfect for boys too, I couldn't wait to get a couple pairs for J to wear.

26 January 2017

7 Proven Tips on How to Teach Your Child to Save Money

Generally, children do not know much about spending and saving money as well as the value of money unless they are taught.

As a parent, it is necessary to teach your child how to spend wisely and save money for future use. These are crucial life skills you should teach your kids earlier in life. The concept of managing money is one of the most important skills that every child should possess even before progressing to pursue formal education in schools.

Many people are in bad debts today because they were not taught the art of managing their money wisely in early stages of their lives. If you want to prevent such an occurrence in your child’s life, the following tips can help.

5 Common Tips on Identifying Incontinence Issues

Urinary incontinence is an issue that people keep hidden. Embarrassed that they are unable to control their bladder, up to six million men and women in the UK try to manage their incontinence daily. 

HARTMANN Direct, online suppliers of incontinence products for women and men that make managing incontinence much easier understand that it can be a sign of other problems. You assume, for example, that small leaks of urine are common and a perfectly normal sign of gaining. It doesn’t have to be because with exercise and, in some cases medication, incontinence can be an issue of the past.

22 January 2017

The £2 Challenge With Zamcog And Voucherbox

Did you know that it costs just £2 to feed and educate a child in Zambia every day? That's only £62 a month (spending on the month of course!). To be honest, we spend much more than that per week on shopping, never mind per month. 

And so, Voucher Box has teamed up with UK based charity Zamcog to bring us The £2 challenge. #2poundchallenge is trying to find out if we can feed a family on £2 per person for a whole day. 

Julie-Anne Uggla, Founder of Zamcog says “We’re delighted to work with Voucherbox.co.uk to raise awareness to one of the integral aspects of Zamcog’s work. At the Shitima School we not only educate children to improve their lives but also provide basic needs such as food and clean water. Any money raised from this campaign will go directly to funding nourishment at the Shitima School. The blogging community are incredibly influential and with their help we can raise money and awareness for Zamcog and continue to support our children.”

Planning A Birthday Trip To York

It's not often that we get some time alone, just my husband and I, so when my parents said they'd look after all three boys over night on my husbands birthday we decided that we will take this chance to go away for the night and spend some time together. 

After looking around and changing our mind a few times, we decided that York was the best place to visit. With so many historical places - such as York Cathedral - to see, places to eat, drink and shops to go crazy in, plus it's only half hour away on the train for if we need to get home quickly. 

21 January 2017

What Do Women Really Want On Valentines Day?

When it comes to Valentines Day, it can be hard to work out what we really want. We are all different so when one woman says that they'd love a romantic meal and a trip to the cinemas, I'd say that I'd much prefer to have a bath on my own and as much chocolate that I could stuff in my face in one go. 

I mean, having a nice bath with no kids joining me, no rubber duckies attacking me and no splashing would just about make my day. Now if I had a glass of wine in hand and a few candles loitering around, that would be perfect to me. 

20 January 2017

Kooky, Spooky Trips Around The UK!

Going away somewhere for a break is one of those things that makes life a little easier. If at all possible, it is something you should do more than once a year. If all you have each year is one holiday, you spend the rest of the year either waiting for it or getting used to the fact that the next one's forever away. Just getting out for a change of scene is something we all appreciate.

It's always pleasant to get away for a family holiday - when you spend a lot of the year working the chance to spend time with each other is welcome. With that said, there are some sights to see that may not be appropriate for the younger members of the party. It would be a shame to miss them completely though. 

18 January 2017

How To Display Your Favourite Photos Around The House

As a parent, I take way too many photos. I mean, there's not a day goes by that I haven't got my phone out and pointing towards one of my children. To be quite honest, that was the whole reason I started my blog - to have somewhere to store and show off all their photos. Somewhere that the kids can access one day and see everything that we have done together, all of their memories in one place. 

I try to capture every moment, not just the main ones. So, along with newborn photos, their birthdays and their firsts, I have a plethora of group shots of them all together (with at least 2 of them smiling each time!), funny poses, sweet moments and way too many holiday snaps.

Hurty At Thirty: Things To Think About As You Get On In Years

I’ve been thinking recently about all that “getting older” stuff. Now, I’m not the sort of person that thinks about mortality and all that, but as the boys are now getting older (Thomas is going to be 10 in two years! Where has the time gone?!) it made me think about what I want to leave for them, what advice, and what sort of things can I do to provide for them better. And it made me think about how I felt when I turned 30. I was mortified! Many of my friends have tried to stay 29 forever, and it hasn’t worked for me! So I thought about what turning 30 means for most women, whether you’re a mum or a career gal! And it seems to me to be the following:

Storage Solutions To Help Declutter Your Home

A cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. But what if you don’t want to get rid of all that extra stuff? Being creative with your storage methods can help you to conceal everything in your home and keep things neat and tidy, eliminating the need to upsize or part with your possessions. Here are few creative storage methods that you may be able to try out.

17 January 2017

Contemplating a Conservatory? Here's How to Make the Most of It

Conservatories and orangeries are excellent additions to any home. If you have the space for an extension, building a conservatory is one of the best ways you can use it. During the summer, you can use it as a space between the inside and outside. In colder weather, you can still keep it warm and enjoy your garden without having to go outside. If you decide you want a conservatory or orangery, you need to think a bit about the design of it. One particular style might come to mind, but perhaps the traditional conservatory look isn't for you. You can consider some different aspects to design a conservatory you love.

16 January 2017

Ready To Say Goodbye To Your Home: 3 Essential Things You Need To Do First

Once you have decided you want to move property, it’s easy to rush to put it on the market. But to ensure you are making the right decision and don’t end up losing out on your equity, you need to wait before you put it on. After all, there might be a few things you can do to ensure your family gets as much as possible to put towards your new home. Therefore, here are three essential things you need to do before you say goodbye to your home and put it up for sale.

See what properties are selling for in the area 
The first thing you should do when you decide to sell up is check how much homes are going for in the area. After all, you want a good idea of how much you will be able to sell your home for. Therefore, look online on sites like Rightmove. You can search your postcode and then check how much properties are in the vicinity. If the houses are not going for as much at the moment as you were hoping for, it might be worth considering putting your home up for sale at a later date. After all, house prices are constantly rising so you should get a good offer for your home in the future! And remember you can always get a free valuation from an estate agent, so you know how much your home is worth. That way, you can make a decision on whether it’s worth uprooting your family.

15 January 2017

10 Things That Mums Of Boys Will Understand

10 Things That Mums Of Boys Will Understand

Being a mum to 3 boys, there is loads I can tell you about having sons and just how weird and wacky, yet wonderful it is. So these are my 10 things that mums of sons will know... *Now I know that some of these can also class for girls but I don't have any so am basing this on my experiences of myself growing up versus my sons now. 

1. Everything Will Be Covered In Pee
Yes, this had to be number one! From the moment they are born, they will pee everywhere. When you're changing their nappy, they'll pee on you, on themselves, on the floor, in their mouths! Then at potty training stage, they love learning to wee standing up, but this then becomes extra fun to see where they can hit with said pee and you'll end up cleaning your bathroom daily, if not more!

14 January 2017

50 Shades Of Grey At Home: Embrace The New Décor Trend

If you are lucky enough to start the year with a little extra budget or if you are looking for ways to invest your money, you may want to consider a change of décor for a modern home interior that is at the top of trends and sophisticated style. Indeed, changing your interior décor is something that you will need to do regularly as this keeps your house looking and feeling fresh and exciting, even after many years living in it! A change of feeling in the house doesn’t mean that you have to throw everything away and start fresh. You can add some clever decorative touches to change the ambience in a room and create a dynamic energy in an old house. This year’s trend is set on grey, so here are some the best ways of introducing this neutral shade into your home. 

12 January 2017

The Travel Bucket List That Every Mum Should Start Saving For

When you have a family, your travel priorities change. Before, you might have been interested in the hottest destination, or the best views. Now, it’s likely that you’re more interested in family-friendly locations and entertainment for your children. It’s not always easy to find a holiday destination that can please everyone, even when your first family holiday is done and you’re starting to feel like a pro. But, you have to admit, you’ve probably already dreamt of the destinations you’d love to treat your family too. If that’s the case, then why not start saving for it now? Even if it takes you years and years, here’s a little inspiration to keep your mind ticking as you wait.

11 January 2017

Family Travels | Researching For Our First Family Holiday Abroad

As a parent, the one things I have regretted thus far, is not having been able to take my children abroad. Okay, T did go to Menorca when he was a baby, but since then, since having 2 more children, we just haven't managed to great out of the UK.

There are many reasons for this - money, choice and security. It's not an easy decision when there are so many variants to choose from. Just finding a hotel that is family friendly and in a great location for children can be a task and a half.

Win | Candyland Sweet Champions Done Adulting Box

I don't know about you but most days, I don't feel like an adult at all. I sit and sort through my bank statements, pay bills, sort stuff, and wonder just who had the stupid sense of putting me in charge of all this stuff.

And it seems that I'm not alone as a recent poll by Sweet Champions found that adults don't feel like grown-ups until the age of 33 and frequently partake in behaviour akin to a teen or someone in their early 20s, suggesting we really are a nation of Kidults!

10 January 2017

Naturtint Hair Colourants & Aftercare

As a busy mum, I don't often have hours spare to go to a salon and have my hair coloured, lightened and treated, so I opt for home colouring and pick out a colour to suit me. I do actually prefer it this way as I can usually put the colour on and then do some writing before it's time to wash it off, saving me time and money. 

I do wonder sometimes though, just what this can do to my hair. I mean, having those chemicals on my scalp every 6-8 weeks can't be all that great I shouldn't imagine. And so when I was asked to give Naturtint - a pioneering new hair colourant formula which is now ‘naturally better’ and enriched with even more natural ingredients, I said yes immediately. 

9 January 2017

Top Pieces Of Advice When Creating Your Kid's Dream Playroom In Your Property!

I don’t know about you, but my child’s toys end up everywhere. In fact, it’s hard to find one room which escapes being invaded with toys. And the main reason for it is because their bedroom is too small. So you end up with the toys around the house to compensate for the lack of room. But if you want to stop this from becoming an issue, you should consider making them a playroom. That way, they can keep all their toys in the separate room, and it can be a great place for them to go with their friends during playdates. However, there are some things you need to know before you create a playroom. Therefore, here are some top pieces of advice when creating your kid’s dream playroom in your property.

8 January 2017

Superheroes | Are The Powers In Their Shoes?

In the world of superheroes, their powers comes in many forms. Super-strength enables them to hurl cars over their heads and the ability to fly, or to run faster than the blink of an eye gives them the chance to save the world before we even know anything is wrong. 

With all those flashy powers, glitzy lifestyles and heroic antics, the normal aspects of a hero's life are sometimes overlooked. I mean, consider the demands of a superhero's clothing - dashing to and from crime scenes, running through fire and kickboxing with villains must take its toll on those outfits. And,  what kind of shoes should they wear to be able to fight bad guys in style?

7 January 2017

Rattan Direct | Rattan Plant Pot 3 Piece Set

When we started doing up our garden last year, I knew that I wanted to be able to plant some flowers throughout the months so that our garden would be bright and floral year in, year out. I am quite fussy though and didn't just want a whole host of different planters dotted around that didn't suit or match each other. 

So matching sets it was then. I came across the Rattan Plant Pot 3 Piece Set from Rattan Direct. Coming in a range of different colours, I chose the black set as I knew that those would look beautiful in the garden, filled with flowers. 

6 January 2017

Have a Stress Free Move To Your New House

Buying a new house is exciting, getting your moving date is exciting, the actual move is...stressful. More stressful than you can imagine, especially if you’ve never done it before and you have a family in tow. But does it have to be this way? The answer is: yes, it does have to be stressful! But it doesn’t have to overwhelmingly stressful. Take our tips outlined below and you’ll make the move to your new home as smooth as possible.

5 January 2017

Guide for a Good Night's Sleep

When you’re a Mum, there is nothing that congratulates you more after a tiring day than a good night’s sleep. Whereas sometimes it feels like you could lie down on a bed of a nails just to get some shut-eye, most of the time it is harder to try and rest your head due to the lack of routine that comes with having kids. Whilst it may seem that the children are in some sort of order with mealtimes and bedtimes, Mums are suffering from insomnia more than ever, for a wealth of different reasons. 

One of the main contributors to not getting a great night’s sleep is the introduction of technology into the bedroom - and not in a good way. Whereas a scroll through your emails or social media may feel like a wind-down to you, your brain is staying alert to help you process the bright screen and the information that it’s being presented with. Essentially, you are keeping yourself awake for longer. Try leaving your phone downstairs or on the other side of the room when you go to sleep - the further away it is from you, the less likely you are to reach for it. For many it has become a force of habit to check the time on their phones whenever they stir in the night, but consider purchasing a good old-fashioned alarm clock to rely on rather than lighting up the room with your phone. Even trying it for just one night could show you how different your sleep could be.

4 January 2017

No More Couch Potatoes: Ideas For Encouraging Your Kids To Be More Active

I don’t know about your family, but in my house, it can sometimes be a struggle to get the kids away from the TV and their computer games. What is it with kids and technology - why do they love it so much? 

As a parent, it can be worrying when your kids would rather spend time cooped up indoors rather than outside being active. As children ourselves, most of us spent our time building dens, playing outside and riding our bikes, but today's kids are growing up in a whole different world. 

3 January 2017

Stop! Wait! Think! Don't Ignore These Important Factors When Moving House

Moving house is a lot of hard work and time and cost. But there are also a lot of things about the move that people overlook or even aren't aware of. That's why it’s important for you to make sure you understand what these important factors are, and that you don’t ignore them. Here is a list of some of the important aspects of moving house that you absolutely must not forget about or ignore!

Don’t Try to Move Everything Yourself
It’s a common thing when moving house to want to take charge of everything yourself. This is natural, and it’s something that is important to take charge of. However, you have to remember that there is a lot involved, and you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed. Don't try to do everything yourself when it comes to moving. There's no harm in asking for help, and many of the professionals out there can do a lot to make this move better for you. Try to do the minimal amount you can get away with doing. It’s really important that you try to get help when moving and hire removals experts. This is going to greatly reduce the stress and strain on you and you family.

Surefire Ways To Stay On Top Of Family Finances

Do you ever worry about money as a full-time mum? I know I do because I’m constantly worried that one day I’ll look in my account and there won’t be enough to get to next payday. If you have the same fear, you need to think about how to stay on top of your spending. It’s important that you don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about your finances as a parent.

2 January 2017

Creating A Child Friendly Garden That's Suitable For Adult Entertaining

You know what it's like when you have kids - everything becomes about them. Everything is organised around them, to suit them and for them. Such as our garden, and most of our house to be fair.

When we bought our house, one of the things that drew us to it was the nice size of the garden and the fact that it was flat. It meant that we could do so much to it. Well over the years we have slowly been adding stuff into the garden and trying to fit things in for the children, missing out that it was our garden too. 

Kerching! The Best Ways To Add Value To Your Family Home

The housing market can be a tricky game to play, and one which can take a whole lot of time, money, and energy to get right. When you’re looking to move to a new home for a growing family, it’s so important that you get the right price for your home. Upsizing costs money, so losing money on your sale property because can really limit your options. If you’re looking to sell your house in the not too distant future, consider some of these options for adding value to your home, so you get the most out of it when you move.

1 January 2017

Living The Busy Mum Life: How To Make The Most Of Your House

Image source

As a mother, it’s often hard to make time for cleaning and keeping your house neat and tidy – it often doesn’t come up very high on your list of priorities, and it isn’t much fun either! Here are some tips on how to make the most of your house…

Need A New Bed? Simple Ways You Can Make Buying Furniture A Little Cheaper For Your Family

When it comes to buying furniture for the home, it can leave a lot of families feeling the pinch. After all, items like a new bed or a wardrobe can cost the earth. And especially at this time of the year, we might have little money to begin with! But there are some ways you can get some bargains when it comes to buying new furniture. Therefore, here are some simple ways you can buy furniture a little cheaper for your family.

Buy ex-display items
If you go into any furniture store, you are bound to find a section of items which are ex-display. And if they don’t have an area like this, they will likely have marked items that have been on display. And the best thing about ex-display items is they often have a huge amount off the original price. So you might get an item which is in good condition for a fraction of the price. Obviously, check the furniture first before you make a purchase. After all, you don’t want something that is marked heavily. And even if there are no ex-display items, stores might have furniture from last season that they might need to get rid off. Therefore, you might get a fantastic deal on furniture which is brand-new!