March 2014 archive
I’m recently married. Yay!
I would love to say the day went smoothly, without a single hiccup along the way. However, if I did say this I would be lying.
It was the happiest day of my life however, being the budding bride with so much to do and organise, a few things slipped through the net. I was too busy fantasising about tucking into the Fantasia Cakes I had ordered for the reception, that important things were pushed to the back of my priorities list! So, I’m sharing what I forgot to plan to help those you may forget themselves.
Here is what I forgot to plan:
Even though these aren’t technically ‘required’, they seem to be a mainstay of most weddings, certainly the ones I’ve been to. And yes, I forgot to even contemplate buying our guests a ‘thank you’ for coming gift.
If you’re thinking about buying wedding favors then you should do this about two months before your big day. There are lots of things to choose from, the most important part is that the wedding favour reflects you as a couple. You can even personalise most wedding favors by adding your names, your wedding date, or even the names of your guests.
I’m positive this item is overlooked on a regular basis, and it is not just me who has forgotten this. Don’t worry I still have plenty of memories, photographs and other items that help me remember my big day.
Normally signed by your guests during the reception, the Guestbook is normally filled with well wishes and tides of happiness. This really shouldn’t be overlooked. You can pick up a variety of different Guestbook styles from a number of retailers. I would recommend that you pick one of these up one month before your big day. Try and categories these items so it’s easy for you to remember.
Notice for Marriage
A slight oversight on my behalf, yet quite a significant one. If this isn’t done before your big day, you won’t be getting married. It is that simple.
A marriage notice, or licence, is available from your local council offices. It is a straight-forward process that every couple requires, by law, to go through before their big day. This Notice of Marriage lasts 12 months, so you have plenty of time to get this organised.
The Nights Entertainment
When I booked the evening reception at one of our local venues, I forgot to organise the entertainment. I thought I booked a DJ, I was wrong. Luckily some of our guests played guitar very well.
When booking any entertainment I recommend doing this at the same time as you book the venue, just so that part of your special day is booked together and goes off without a hitch.
Thank You Card
I am such a bad person. I completely forgot to send out Thank You card to our guests after our big day.
I would recommend buying these before, just so you have them and they are at the forefront of your mind when you come back off your honeymoon.
I am pleased to say that our guests have now received a Thank You card, even though it is a little belated.
I hope my experience can help you avoid some of these traumas.
The most important thing is that you enjoy your day, and the rest of your life together.
It is a common conception that Grey hair is considered unflattering, can make women look older and give the impression of ‘I don’t care attitude towards her appearance’. For women, greying hair often occurs when they are undergoing significant physical changes, such as the menopause; therefore the need to cover the grey hairs becomes a very emotive issue. However, anyone can start going grey at a relatively young age but usually grey hairs begin appearing in your mid 20’s developing throughout the next years so that in your 40’s you may have the inclination to cover your grey hair.
It is best to start covering grey hairs as soon as possible so you can’t be tempted to pull a single grey hair out! By succumbing to the urge of pulling out the grey hairs you can traumatise your roots which will either encourage courser and thicker hair to grow or no hair to grow. It is a myth that pulling out one grey hair causes two new ones to grow in its place, however, traumatic alopecia (baldness) is a very common issue that can occur due to the root trauma.
Grey hair naturally has a different texture to non-grey hairs, which makes colouring and styling harder. However, it can be done successfully. One way to hide your greying hair is to style your hair differently to cover the grey hair at your temples, which will create a more flattering look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a textured fringe or sides just because you have always worn your hair up and away from your face.
If you are inclined to colour your grey hair do you go to a salon or home? Millions of women have had success with colouring their hair at home. Here are 6 golden rules for home colouring:
- No Peroxide. If you don’t want to damage your hair at all then steer clear of hair colouring products that contain peroxide. Although peroxide is an effective hair lightener it is harmful for your hair. Daniel Field hair colour is the only non-peroxide, non-ammonia permanent hair colour for greying hair.
- If a hair colouring product containing peroxide claims it has “special conditioners and benefits” you should take it with a pinch of salt. The cosmetic shine created by these colourants is only cosmetic – the shine lasts up to 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks you are left with (to some degree) structurally damaged hair.
- Don’t go too dark! Be aware that as you get older your skin gets paler – so choose hair colour shades that are no more than one shade darker than your natural hair colour.
- Be subtle. The idea of colouring your grey hair is to ensure that no one notices, so be subtle with your colouring and stick to shades as close to your natural hair colour base as possible.
- Grey hair only suits women who have the correct combination skin tone (neutral skin) and eye colouring (grey/blue) and look good in blues, lilacs, greys and pinks.
Choose appropriately to your budget. Full head colouring gets more expensive the more your chosen hair colour is from your natural hair colour. If you have 100% grey hair coverage, the darker the hair colour you choose the greater the re-growth. Also if your hair is still quite brown and you want to go lighter than this will be very high maintenance! If you are a busy person, on a budget or travel a lot than it is advised for you to stick to your natural colour.
Article written by Daniel Field Mail Order – we are passionate about our natural hair products, suitable for vegans, all designed and created by professional hairdresser, Daniel Field. Our natural hair colours are free from ammonia, peroxide, alcohol and PPDs.
Everyone needs to be able to keep warm in winter but how do you keep your home warm in the colder months? Many Australian homes are designed for the hot climate and it can be hard to keep your home warm without spending a small fortune on energy bills.
Here are 5 ideas to help you do just that.
Install a Wood Fire Heater
Wood heaters are a cosy source of radiant heat and make spending evenings indoor highly enjoyable. There is a wide range of wood heaters available so you will find something to suit your needs. Barbeques Galore have a great range of sizes and styles to suit most spaces.
When deciding which wood heater to buy it is a good idea to talk to the retailer about the size of the space you wish to heat. Ask for advice on what size heater you will need and choose one you find aesthetically pleasing. It’s not a good idea to buy a wood heater that is larger than your needs as you will use more fuel than necessary to heat your space. You will also need to clean your wood heater out from time to time to remove ash and charcoal, so it’s best to get one the right size for your room to avoid unnecessary cleaning.
A wood heater will add to the interior design of your home and should be placed in your most used area, usually the living room. A wood heater will often really enhance the ambience of a room and encourage families to relax and enjoy sitting around the firetogether.
Keep the Heat in with Curtains
Glass windows will allow the heat to escape from inside and will also let the outside cold in. Up to 40 per cent of household heat can escape through uncovered windows, so it’s a good idea to hang reasonably heavy curtains for the cold months.
Insulation is a must if you want to save energy keeping your house both warm and cool. If a house is correctly insulated you will save significantly on power costs for heating and cooling.
Seal up the Cracks
Cracks and gaps, including gaps under doors, can be responsible for a whopping 25 per cent heat loss in your home. Use weather stripping around doors and windows and a gap filler to seal any cracks in the walls. An old fashioned door snake will keep the cold from escaping under the door.
Also, close off any rooms that you aren’t using. If you have your wood fire burning in the living room, close off empty rooms to keep the heat in the area of the house you are using.
Let the Sun Shine In
During the day let us much sun into your home as you can. Open the curtains wide and let the sun shine in to warm your home. Remember to close curtains and seal off gaps before dark sets in.
Getting a good start in life involves getting a good education, and what better way to thank the ones that have had the most impact in your child’s life than giving them a little gift.
Over the last few years this has become a trend, more and more parents are prepared to give a gift to their child’s teacher.
However, according to reports, some parents are taking this too far, spending more and more money on gifts for teachers in an attempt to outdo each other. This takes competitive parenting to a whole new level. In a survey conducted by UK parenting website Netmums, parents are spending, on average, £10 on a gift, while the number of parents spending more than £20 has increased by more than 50%.
Putting all this aside, when my Daughter finished her school year I felt it important to buy her teacher a gift, as a thank you for teaching her this year.
Here are five things that you may want to consider buying as gifts for teachers:
The usual suspects: Flowers
Although a little predictable, a bunch of flowers with a card would make a nice surprise gift for any teacher. To make it a little more personal, try and find out what the teacher’s favourite flowers are. I’m sure if you were to receive a gift, this amount of thought would go a long way.
The supporting act: Chocolates
Like flowers, chocolates can also make a great gift. Again, try and make it personal and find out what the teacher likes.
A little something of everything: The Hamper
There’s much to be said about a hamper. Of course you can by one from your local supermarket, but the best hampers are always personalised to the recipient, with plenty of thought but in to the contents of it. Again, research plays a big part in getting the hamper just right for the teacher. Find out what biscuits or sweets they like, what they enjoy to drink, maybe even go as far as finding out their favourite author or magazine. Also, try and think about what you would like to receive in a hamper. Would you like some bath salts or oils, hand cream or a face mask? I’m sure you’d appreciate; teachers would love the time to relax too.
Vouch for something special: Vouchers
If you don’t know your child’s teacher that well, vouchers can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Think about vouchers for stores that stock a little bit of everything, maybe a Walmart or other department store. A voucher may not be as personal as other gifts, but it will be warmly received and hugely appreciated just the same.
Subscribe to success: The Magazine Subscription
Again, you don’t need to know your child’s teacher that well to get them something that they will love. If your child’s teacher teaches a particular subject, have a look at what specific, or more niche magazine titles that they could subscribe to, and purchase a 6 or 12 months subscription for them. Alternatively, you could buy them a subscription to a more general lifestyle magazine.
Hopefully this will give you some great ideas.
When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!
But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.
Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!
Have you got what it takes?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:
- Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
- Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
- Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.
One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.
Preparing for the big day
When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.
Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.
In a hurry to pass?
Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.
This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.
Buying presents for a man can sometimes be a rather difficult mission to accomplish! They either don’t give you any clues as to what they might want, or they keep buying all sorts of things for themselves all the time.
If you are finding yourself in this rather unfortunate position, here are 7 awesome gift ideas to help you choose the (hopefully) right gift for your other half!
Louis Vuitton Florin Wallet
One thing that virtually all guys have in their pockets is a wallet. But did you know that not many blokes have really awesome designer wallets, such as this Louis Vuitton Florin Wallet in Damier Graphite?
It’s not the cheapest wallet around, I’ll admit, but I think you will agree that it is certainly a very stylish one!
2. 3M Streaming Projector
If your partner has a “man cave” at home, and he is into gadgets and technology as well as being a bit of a film buff, one clever piece of portable gadgetry you could get him is the 3M Streaming Projector.
In a nutshell, it’s a device that lets you stream any online content (i.e. movies) anywhere you want.
3. Shinola Bixby Bicycle
I know you can buy any old bicycle for your partner, but if you want to buy him something special then you should consider getting him a men’s bicycle by Shinola, such as the Bixby. It features a 3-speed Shimano gear set, and is great for driving in both dry and wet conditions.
4. Apple iPad Air
One of the most popular tablets that you can buy your significant other is the Apple iPad Air. It is extremely lightweight, fully-featured and is available as either a WiFi-only or 4G-enabled tablet with a range of capacities from 16GB to 128GB.
They can run virtually the same apps that are available for iPhones and iPods, and work well together with those other Apple iOS devices too.
5. Supercar Experience Day
Is your partner an absolute petrolhead? If so, they will probably dream of owning a car such as a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari, and while this dream might only become reality if you both win the lottery, for example, you could still give them a taste of what it’s like to drive such a vehicle by buying them a supercar experience day gift!
6. Minelab X-TERRA 305
Every man’s childhood dream is to go out with a metal detector and search for treasure! Well, now you can make that dream a reality for your partner by getting them a Minelab X-TERRA 305 metal detector! It offers the best detection rates and might possibly make the man in your life rich…!
7. Samsung UE40F8000 LED 3D Smart TV
Let’s face it; most guys love to watch TV! But have you ever noticed how some TVs have a pretty mediocre picture and tinny sound quality in comparison to others? Well, if your guy’s TV is a bit like that, why not get them a super awesome Samsung UE40F8000 LED 3D smart TV?
When my old car was on its last legs, so to speak, I had to begin the unenviable task of looking for a new car.
I know some people love the challenge of looking for a new car, but for me it can sometimes be a bit stressful as you have to think about loads of different things such as how much you want to spend, what sort of car you want to buy, and where or whom you want to buy it from.
My requirements were pretty straightforward at the time, which was actually unusual for me as people that know me will often state that I keep changing my mind about things, especially when it comes to cars!
I decided that I wanted to buy a 5-door hatchback car that was comfortable enough to transport me and up to three passengers in, and had an ample amount of boot space for cargo. As for budget, I was flexible on it but had a specific ‘ceiling’ limit in mind for the car I wanted.
In the end, I decided to buy myself a sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf. As a rule, I don’t buy brand new cars because of depreciation, and because the seventh generation of the Golf came out in 2013, I was able to bag myself a bargain on a nearly-new sixth generation model from motorlinedirect.co.uk.
I had looked at plenty of different models on the market such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane, but I was 100% won over by the Volkswagen Golf. Here’s why:
It’s a pretty well-known fact that the build quality of Volkswagen cars is of a really high standard, despite it being a mass-produced car which, as you may know, can be prone to problems relating to how certain components were assembled in the factory.
I remember seeing an amusing television advert from Volkswagen a couple of years ago about how some cars ‘sound’ like a Golf, but on a serious note when you get inside of a Golf and close the door you will instantly discover why many hatchbacks from competitor carmakers try to mimic that German build quality and fail miserably!
I must admit; I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the Volkswagen Golf, as my first car was a mk1 model. At the time, my first car was around 15 years old and was surprisingly reliable considering its former keepers didn’t exactly maintain it that well!
Fast forward several years to the mk6 Golf that I bought recently, I am pleased to say that this trend of reliable motoring has continued. I know it’s probably early days to speculate whether my Golf is going to be just as reliable when it’s older, but I’ve had cars from other makes of a similar age and have had to spend hundreds of pounds repairing them!
One of the things that Volkswagen is known for is how safe its cars are. To give you an example, Euro NCAP awarded the mk6 Golf five out of five stars for the safety tests it carried out on that generation!
For any sensible parent and dog owner, researching the ‘best’ breed of dog to join your family is something that you obviously take great pride in. It is not easy to say which breed of dog is ‘best’ around children, but some dogs tend to have more naturally affectionate personalities than other breeds of dog. Some dogs are more playful and tolerant, while other dogs can be more assertive and act as guard dogs. Whatever breed of dog that you choose to become a member of your family do remember that they are big commitment, so only buy a dog if you are ready to take on a lot of responsibility.
As a rule of thumb, dogs tend to be tolerant around children that they have ‘grown up’ around. While the idea of a puppy and toddler at the same time is a daunting one, raising the two together will ensure a life long bond. The dog will be as happy as your child.
Remember the following when choosing a breed of dog that is best to have around small children:
There are of course many dogs for sale, but choosing the right one for your family takes a lot of research.
Family Friendly Dog Breeds
Beagles make loyal companions due to their sturdy stature. As a rule, they tend to be very energetic and so they rarely tire of playing. This is, of course, ideal for small children who will often want to play long games with the family dog. Beagles have a friendly temperament and are extremely clever too.
While these dogs are giant, they are very gentle and absolutely adorable. This particular breed of dog is patient, loyal and caring. While they are prone to drooling and shedding their enormous fluffy coats, they make wonderful pets, especially around children, hence their nickname as ‘Natures Babysitter’. However, this breed of dog likes to be inside, as well as having large open spaces. As the Newfoundland is a very large dog, only consider this breed should you have the room to do so.
The red Irish Setter is put simply, a stunning dog. While this breed of dog is particularly energetic it enjoys being around people and children, especially a family that can devote a lot of time to it. Irish Setter’s are very intelligent and can be trained easily. Perfect should you want to avoid ‘doggy presents’ on the carpet!
The ‘Andrex’ puppy certainly has the cute factor and is a firm favourite among those that are seeking a family-friendly dog. These lively, intelligent dogs are super playful and have a high tolerance for children. These dogs are known for their loyalty and really do make an excellent addition to the family.
Buying a dog isn’t just simply ‘buying a dog’, it is extending your home and your heart and effectively is adding a member of your family. Except one that has four legs and hair. Every dog has the potential to be ‘family-friendly’ with the correct handling, training and upbringing.
Credit for photo
Finding traditional means of employment when you’re a stay-at-home mom can be a real pain, especially since the international job market as a whole has been on the decline for the last few years. This is precisely why it’s important you learn to think outside of the box and source your income through alternative means. Whilst some governments do have a decent benefits system, this will only keep you just above the breadline. Presuming you love your kids and you want the best for them, this simply isn’t good enough. With all that in mind, this article will present 5 simple home business ideas you may wish to research over the next few months. Why knows; they could make all the difference to your quality of life.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still need to put a lot of effort in to get things off the ground, but so long as you have sufficient motivation, this shouldn’t be a major problem. For the most part, you’ll have to do everything yourself, which means taking some time out to work on your telephone voice and your social communications skills could be a wise move. So, without any further delay on my part, here are the business ideas that could change your life for the better.
1 – Telephone Answering Service
Many businesses simply don’t have the time or resources to allow someone to sit answering telephone calls all day long. This means they employ the services of specialist companies to do the job for them. So, if this sounds appealing, follow the model put in place by http://www.ffb.co.uk and you should achieve a moderate level of success.
2 – Catering
Okay, so, you’re not going to become a millionaire from a basic cake-making company, but if you’ve got baking skills and a keen eye for design, there’s no reason why you can’t significantly boost your income using this method. Luckily, you should only have to advertise your services on social network sites to start receiving orders.
3 – Blogging
If you’re pretty computer savvy, then starting your own blog or opting to write for a creative content marketing company on other blogs could solve all your financial issues. You’d be surprised by how much money can be made. I know someone who does this job for less than 6 hours each day and earns a wage that works out to be almost double that which the government places as a bottom line (minimum wage).
4 – Search Engine Optimisation
Presuming you follow the online world and always read up on new updates released by major search engines like Google, you could set yourself up as a freelance SEO specialist and help businesses with new websites to rank in favourable positions for their chosen keywords. Again, there’s a lot of money to be made if you’re good.
5 – Personal Assistant
Back in the day, anyone who wanted to employ a personal assistant would have had no choice but to meet with them face to face on a daily or weekly basis. Thankfully, due to the release of reliable video chat software like Skype, this is no longer the case. So, whatever subject you have a talent for, finding people online willing to pay for your assistance or expertises should be simple.
Well ladies, there you have it. You should now have some great ideas about what you can do to make some extra cash and help your kids to have the life they deserve. Keep working towards any goals you set yourself, and you should reach them in no time.
Believe if yourself!
If you’re looking for a nanny, it can be difficult to find one that lives up to the expectations supernanny Jo Frost set for everybody. Her techniques seem to work no matter how badly behaved the child! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to find somebody as equally as good as her. Here’s what you should look for when hiring:
Someone Well Put Together
No, we don’t believe you should judge a book by it’s cover, but if the nanny seems to take care of herself this can only be a good sign, as well as an indication of how she’ll care for your child/children. She doesn’t need to have a fashion sense to rival Alexa Chung, but providing she’s clean and tidy like t&c staff, it’s a good sign.
Interacts Well With Your Child
As part of your interview, you should allow the nanny time to meet your child. Does she seem patient and caring? IS she comfortable holding and playing with your child? Don’t worry if your child doesn’t seem to take to her right away, they may get used to her in time. What’s important is how she handles the situation.
Asks Appropriate Questions
There are some tell tale signs that somebody will be a good nanny, and asking appropriate questions is one of them. If she asks you how often your baby cries for example, this might mean she can’t handle normal child behaviour. If she doesn’t ask any questions at all this can still be a problem, as she should be interested enough in the position to think of things she’d like to know the answers to.
Does she seem intelligent? The nanny should be able to follow instruction and think on her feet effectively.
You don’t need to become best friends with this lady, but you should be able to talk to her about things concerning your child. She should feel comfortable with you, as the pair of you will need to be in constant contact.
If she’s on time for her interview, that shows that she could be reliable. Lateness, even with an excuse, could spell trouble.
Does she seem as if she can handle taking care of your little one? If she doesn’t look up to the job physically, or seem it mentally, you should steer clear.
Getting references is a very important part of choosing a great nanny. Experience and great ratings from past employers are brilliant! You want to be able to contact at least 2 of her past employers. You’ll need to ask questions regarding how long she was with the family, whether she was reliable, why did she leave, if there was anything they didn’t like about her, and any examples of when she handles a difficult situation. Background checks are important too!
Once you think you’ve found a great nanny, you could schedule a test run in order to find out whether she’s suitable for the job. If you still feel comfortable, hire her!
Image Credit: Flickr