Archive of ‘Home’ category
Young children love camping, so make the most of it before they reach the teenage years. When they reach that age they lose all interest in the great outdoors and look, instead, to theme parks, amusement arcades, and anything else that costs a lot of money.
photo by studio ties
We find it hard to understand why they lose their enthusiasm for camping because we have forgotten how it feels to be that age. After all, being a teenager is all about looking fashionable and trying to attract a member of the opposite sex. Their best designer gear isn’t suited to muddy farmers fields or rugged countryside.
Younger children, on the other hand, can’t wait to get away from it all and rough it in the wilderness. They will help you prepare the caravan or motorhome and rush you on the day of departure. The journey is a fascinating one because they are very excited, and it isn’t long before you hear those dreaded words, “are we nearly there yet?”.
They are just a happy as you when you acquire your first touring vehicle from the Caravan & Camper Megastore because it opens up a summer of possibilities.
Try and remember what you enjoyed as a child and see if you can relate it to your kids today. Here are a few things they enjoy about camping.
- Adventure. They love to explore, so all of the new destinations you visit when touring offer them a different playground at every stop.
- Freedom. If you live in a busy town, you often cannot let your children play anywhere except in your garden. Imagine the delight they feel when they are allowed to roam, within reason, unaccompanied in the great outdoors.
- Sport. Many campsites are close to rivers; something your children may not experience very often, where they can spend the day fishing or paddling in the shallows; bliss. Never leave them alone near water.
- Fire. The campfire is one place where we allow our children to get close to the flames, and they are fascinated by them. Roasting marshmallows is a time-honoured tradition, so the kids eat lots of them.
- Nature. Camping puts them in the heart of the natural world where there is much to see. Whether they come across wild animals or those on a farm, kids enjoy seeing them.
- Family. Holidays of every variety are fantastic for bringing the family together for a week or two without the pressure of work. Camping is no different and young children are delighted to spend time doing exciting things with their parents.
- Seaside. There are many sites close to the sea, so they can step out of the tent or motorhome and be splashing about or building sandcastles in minutes. At night, they can hear the sound of the waves breaking and fog horns in the distance, reminding them of the adventures tomorrow has in store.
Well, I hope I have encouraged you to go camping while the kids are young. I am going to start packing now too. There is no time to waste. Happy trails!
A nursery is probably one of the most exciting rooms to decorate. You’re going to have a baby in the house soon, and decorating the nursery just makes it all seem that bit more ‘real’. Sometimes you can even make a nursery for a toddler, to help them learn and play in their own exciting space! The smallest room is usually best for nurseries; the spare room. In this post, you’ll get some helpful tips as well as some cool inspiration to get you started!
Photo Author: Flickr
Planning the Nursery
First of all, you need to plan what you’re going to do. You can’t just make it up as you go along! What’s already in the room you’re going to decorate for your child? Can you reuse them in the nursery, or will you need to move them to another room? You’ll need to consider how much space you have, and the budget you have too. You may need to consider home improvement loans if you have lots of renovations to make.
Selecting a Colour Scheme
What kind of colour scheme do you envision for your child? It doesn’t have to be blue for a boy and pink for a girl; you can think outside of the box and do whatever you like. Green and yellow are popular shades that work well for either sex. A light tone will give a lovely peaceful atmosphere, so whatever colours you choose try to keep them light. Research how colours change moods in order to select the best colours for your child.
Now you’ve decided on your colour scheme, you can either choose your paint or buy wallpaper. There are loads of different wallpaper designs that are ideal for nurseries and kids bedrooms, but you can use stencils and wall stickers to customise the walls yourself if you like! Kids love looking at stars, teddy bears, clouds, moons, and flowers. Why not paint a popular cartoon character to make the wall even more unique?
Now you can move on to furniture you’d like in your baby’s room. You’ll need a crib/bed, a nappy changer, small wardrobe, and perhaps a toy box. Shelves might be useful too. You may already have furniture you can use for this; simply brighten it up with a lick of paint if you need to!
Look for carpets, bed linen, cushions, and curtains at this point too. Always keep your colour scheme in mind for the best effect!
Shades and dimmers are your best bet for the nursery, as you don’t need anything too big or fussy. The baby needs a relaxing atmosphere in their nursery in order for them to get a good nights rest.
Now you can add the finishing touches to a room; teddies, frames, toys, and other things that can help to create a nicer atmosphere.
There are so many things you can try in order to make your baby’s nursery beautiful and unique:
- Make your own prints for the nursery using a wooden block, string, and paint. Simply tie the wooden block with the string and secure it in place with tape. Now you can brush paint onto the string, and practice stamping this onto paper. Once you’ve made a pattern you like, you can turn the block different ways to create something cool and intricate looking. By experimenting with different patterns, colours, and block shapes, you’ll come up with a work of art. A toddler could help with this project too!
- This project works for butterfly shapes, stars, and flowers. All you need is some acrylic paint, a blank canvas, watercolour paper, watercolour paint, butterfly shaped (or whatever shape you like) paper punch, and pop dots or another type of glue. Paint the canvas a colour of your choice, and then paint the paper with patches of different colours. Leave this to dry, and then stamp out the butterflies from the paper. If you bend these slightly in the middle before gluing, you can make them look 3D on the canvas!
- If the spare room doesn’t have much natural light, then you can always create the feeling of natural light by using a high resolution camera to take a picture of the beautiful blue sky. Blow the photo up, print it on shiny paper, and frame it!
- You can create a modern looking nursery without it looking too grown up. Try shades of pastel pink and grey, with triangle patterns on the wall. If you’re good at origami, why not create an origami rabbit head or two to back with card and hang on the wall as a cute looking ‘trophy’.
- A black and white room really lets gorgeous patterns pop and come alive!
- Go for a classic looking room with shades of cream/white and a few gold accents. Dark wood furniture will give this room a great look.
- Thick yellow and white horizontal stripes look amazing on a nursery wall, especially when paired with large stuffed animals and furry rug for interest.
- Instead of coming up with a simple colour scheme for the nursery, why not come up with a theme? An Alice in Wonderland nursery would look simply magical and could even spark an early interest in your child in books and stories. It doesn’t have to be crazy and colourful either; a neutral room with drawings of Alice and the White rabbit on the walls would work.
- Wall art can look amazing, so why not have your baby’s name on the wall just above their crib? You can use all kinds of things to create this yourself, including colourful tissue paper to make a cool floral affect. They may even be able to write their name before the other kids in their class due to seeing it regularly!
- Different shaped/coloured photo frames can look amazing when all arranged together on a wall. They can have any pictures you like in them too, from photos of loved ones to hand drawn pictures.
What do you think of these ideas for your baby’s nursery? Be sure to leave a comment!
With video games being so popular nowadays, it can seem like books and reading are a thing of the past, as they fail to compete with the thrills that come with modern-day gaming. In spite of this, there are still some books out there; that have the capacity to capture the imagination of your children, and leave them spellbound, forgetting that they ever had a gaming console in the first place. Of course, the only challenge that remains is finding these books. So what can be done, in order to find these remarkable reads?
Ask Other Parents
Often at times the best source available, other parents will be able to guide you in the right direction when it comes to finding awesome books. There is a chance that they too have faced the same dilemma you’re facing right now, in terms of finding a good book for their kids. If they’ve successfully dealt with this challenge, you can learn from them, and get the titles of the books that they discovered. Of course, keep in mind that each child is different, and so what entertained their kids might not entertain yours.
Check Out Bestseller Lists
Books on the bestseller lists are there for a reason. They’re often amazing books to read, and have the sales figures to back this up. By picking from the books on these lists, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success. However, keep in mind that though these books for children are entertaining, each of them caters to a certain demographic. Even if books about vampire romance are selling in huge amounts, there is a possibility that this is the last thing a ten year old boy wants to read about.
By using review websites, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of whether or not the book you’re going to purchase is any good. Many review websites will point out whether or not the book was entertaining, and if it kept them wanting to read more. Review websites should be taken with a pinch of salt, as there is no telling if the person who wrote the review enjoys the same kind of literature as your children. If you find a book with a bad review, but think it is a book that your children would love, it might help just to see what your kids think of it, and get it for them.
A New Favourite Hobby?
Reading can be something fun for your children, once you find the right book for them. Of course, finding the right book can be a quest that has many hurdles along the way, and can prove challenging to those who are doing things for the first time. Nevertheless, by keeping a close eye on the bestseller lists, and asking other parents, you’ll be sure to find an amazing book in record time. In fact, it could be the case that the book you find is so amazing, that you choose to read it before you give it to your kids!
Congratulations. If you are reading this, you are probably an expectant mother or father. Today I would like to offer some advice concerning the design of a new nursery for the little bundle of joy that is on his or her way. Don’t leave it until later to sort out, the next few months will fly by and the last thing you need in the later stages is to worry about decorating a room. If everything else is in place, it is easier to concentrate on the important things instead.
A nursery is unlike other bedrooms in the home. The decor is not an issue for the baby; it is more to give pleasant surroundings for the parents. The room must be a practical place to work as well as a relaxing place to rest. Here are five incredible design ideas for your nursery.
It is very important to decorate the nursery to a high standard because the chances are that there will be plenty of visitors dropping by who will go in and introduce themselves to the new addition to the family. The quality is compromised by attempting to decorate over bumpy walls. Remove all of the old wallpaper and if you are unable to make the walls perfectly smooth, hire a plasterer to skim them over with a topcoat to give a perfect blank canvas for you to work on. The job takes about a day for a small to medium sized room and the transformation of the walls makes it worthwhile.
It is best to keep the decor simple in a nursery. Don’t do anything there that will be a shock to the senses in the middle of the night. Have one feature wall with some attractive modern wallpaper as in the image and paint the remaining walls with emulsion paint that is applied with a roller for the best finish. A feature wall is a great place to introduce a wallpaper mural. There are hundreds of designs available online so finding one for suitable for a nursery will be easy.
In the middle of the night, a parent need to be warm and comfortable so there is no better product than carpet for the nursery. Ultra modern room make use of laminate in the magazines but for comfort and practicality it isn’t suitable here.
To go along with a modern theme, consider using blinds at the windows. They help to keep the room light and airy by opening up the space around the windows. The latest thing is panel blinds from Super Blinds Mart and other places online. They are similar to vertical blinds, but they have overlapping panels to keep the light out better. Of course, there are plenty of traditional alternatives such as venetian blinds, wooden shutters, pleated blinds, and roller blinds, that are all suitable for use in the nursery.
Remember when laying out the room that you will need to access both sides of the cot so do not place it against a wall if possible. A comfy chair is the second most important feature in the room where mom or dad will sit to feed the little monster in the middle of the night. There are storage units made especially for nurseries that comprise a cupboard and plenty of drawers for convenience. A proper wardrobe is not suitable until the little one has grown.
As you can see, the nursery needs to be tackled from a different angle to normal bedrooms. It is one of the most enjoyable projects to complete in the home, and one of the most exciting too.
Image by Mazzali
We are expected to provide more for our children today than at any time in the past. That is a good thing because, though it may put a strain on our finances, parents always strive to give their children things that they never had themselves. The range of furnishings and technology available to us is vast and often comes at a fair price, so we are spoiled for choice when thinking of fantastic ideas for creating a dream bedroom.
If you are thinking of renovating your child’s bedroom, you will find some cool ideas here for things to include in it. Some may say that this is spoiling the child, but they are only young once. Give them what you would have loved to own at that age and let them make the most of being a kid. There is plenty of time for being grown up later.
Modern Is The Word
Stop thinking of a room that you would like to own because your ideas are probably dated. Think instead of the most modern rooms found in magazines and on the internet. It is difficult to replicate this contemporary look unless you know a few of the secrets most of the designers use. Here are some basic elements to modern decor.
- Walls. The walls of the room are best kept plain. If you wish to include wallpaper, then cover only one wall. There are some great vistas available with modern mural wallpaper. Imagine a cityscape, or an alien planet. The plain walls will be covered in posters over time, but that is their choice.
- Flooring. You will not that modern rooms use laminate or real wood flooring. It is hard wearing and easy to clean; perfect for a teenagers room. It is easy to install since the manufacturers invented the click system that has done away with the need for glue.
- Windows. Kids prefer to have modern window blinds rather than old fashioned curtains. Vertical, roller, or venetian blinds work well in bedrooms.
Since the room will probably be used for entertaining friends as well as sleeping, give them somewhere to sit. Modern sofa beds from Multiyork are perfect for this job. They are far removed from the sofa beds of old. Now they come in modern designs with removable covers as an option. They are simple to open up and use at night and allow better use of the space available in the day. Kids love these items.
If your child isn’t ‘connected’, they will be at a disadvantage socially. Yes, we all hate the way they spend all of their time staring at their phones rather than taking notice of people around them, but it is the way of the future, and we must embrace it. Many people take a stand and banish technology in favour of a better quality of life. Banning it rarely works, since these people are holding onto a past that no longer exists. The world is a different place now. Provide internet access in the bedroom with a PC or laptop computer. If these are connected to a television, the kids have a world of entertainment right at their fingertips.
With all of this in place, your child will be happy, and their friends will think you are the coolest parents around. It is likely to cost a lot of money, but it is worth it. I wonder what ‘things I never had’ they will provide for their children? The mind boggles.
Every parent will inevitably have to deal with their offspring’s request to learn to drive and their wishes to pass their driving tests. It is not a subject that some parents like to deal with, especially those that are overly protective of their children!
But as they approach 17, they will doubtless be thinking about the freedom having their own car will bring them, as well as the number of opportunities that will be open to them. For example, employers are far more likely to take on youngsters at their companies if they have full, clean driving licences.
If your son or daughter has decided that they want to start learning to drive, here are a few hints and tips to help make your journey (excuse the pun) a more bearable one!
Get your child to apply for a driving licence
The first thing that anyone needs to do being taught how to drive on public roads is to apply for a provisional licence. As long as your child is at least 15 ¾ years old, they will be able to apply.
However, the only caveat is that they can’t get behind the wheel of a car until their 17th birthday, so it’s probably easier just to wait until then before applying for a provisional licence.
Find an approved driving instructor
Assuming that your son or daughter is at least 17 years of age, it is now time to find them an approved driving instructor.
Just like how those learning to drive need to pass tests, approved driving instructors have to pass a rigorous set of tests in order for them to be qualified for teaching others how to drive.
Alternatively, you could teach them how to drive yourself, as long as you are over 21, hold a full driving licence for the vehicle they want to learn in, and both you and your offspring are insured to drive your car.
I would recommend getting a qualified approved driving instructor to teach your child how to drive, as they won’t pick up any of your bad habits nor are you likely to “fall out” with each other.
Take the theory test
Once your offspring has had some experience on the road and has done a lot of studying (for example, reading the Highway Code), it is time to put them forward for their theory test!
Their driving instructor will be the best judge of determining when your son or daughter is ready to take their theory test, but if the instructor tells you that they are now ready to be put forward, don’t hesitate to book theory test today!
Take the practical test
Assuming that your child has passed their theory test with flying colours and their instructor feels that they have enough experience on the road to tackle the practical test, it will then be time to put them forward in it!
If your son or daughter is comfortable driving their instructor’s car, they will normally be able to take their practical test in it rather than in someone else’s car.
If you got a mortgage a few years ago to purchase the perfect family home, you probably felt really happy to have your own place with enough space for everyone. However, since then, you might well have had more children, and so now things are becoming a little more cramped. Whilst you could opt to sell up and find somewhere larger, this is a big task and could mean you have to move out of your desired area. So, I think it would be much more suitable for you to build and extension and increase the size of the property you currently own. With that in mind, give me your attention for the next few minutes, and I’ll do my best to present you with some reasons why this is a wise move.
1. Your home will be more valuable
First and foremost we need to talk about money. Extensions are usually very expensive to build, but you should look at this as an investment. While you might have to spend a few thousand to achieve your goal, the final product should add almost double this amount to the value of your property.
2. Your family will have more personal space
Building an extension on the front or back of your home will usually mean you add an extra bedroom and more space downstairs. This means you shouldn’t get under each other’s feet quite as much, and so fewer arguments and bad moods should present themselves.
3. You can have a games room
Some people choose to simply extend their kitchen or lounge, but those with a little more creativity see more potential than this. For that reason, you could have a dedicated games room downstairs with enough space for a pool table and such. Just make sure you try to save as much money as possible along the way by using reputable builders and a reasonably priced timber supplier, as pool tables don’t come cheap!
4. Your neighbours will be jealous
This probably won’t apply to everyone, but if you have the kind of neighbours who’re constantly boasting about their home, you will shut them up effectively when they see you’ve improved yours beyond all recognition, and now it’s become more valuable than theirs. Of course, they’ll probably get so envious they end up doing the same thing, but at least you’ll have got there first.
5. Your family can stay whenever they like
Having more space means you can have more people sleeping in your home at the same time. So, if you’re sick and tired of traveling halfway around the country at Christmas time to see the clan, building an extension will mean they can come to you for a change. Now that’s got to make it all worthwhile even if none of the other reasons have resonated with you.
So guys, you should now know exactly why building an extension could be the best thing you ever do, I hope you’ll start making plans sometime this summer.
Best of luck!
Parents are facing many dilemmas in modern times in their efforts to do right by their children. It was a routine practice forty years ago that if a child received a couple of bouts of tonsillitis, the offending glands were removed. On one hand people are told that dirt and bacteria are good for children as it helps to boost their immune systems, but others recommend surgical cleanliness in order to promote good health. The chemicals used to kill bacteria are strong poisons and more people than ever are asking what effect their long term use can have on children. After all, children spend a lot of time with their fingers in their mouths and the fumes given off by strong chemicals could easily affect young lungs.
If you are looking for some more natural ways to keep your home hygienic and healthy without causing harm, there is some valuable advice for you here. Read on and see the obvious benefits of cleaning the natural way.
The Power Of The Lemon
Citrus juices are naturally acidic and are great for cutting through grime around the home, It is so powerful that you are advised to mix it with equal parts water before use. It is suitable for use on all surfaces except wood and it will kill bacteria and leave a surface hygienically clean. Use it wherever there is a grime build up on kitchen tiles, work surfaces, on the sink and taps; it is a very versatile cleaning fluid. Put the solution into a spray gun for convenient use and carrying through the home.
All Hail The Vinegar
Do you spend lots of money on descaling chemicals for use in the bathroom and kitchen? Well, you need look no further than your food cupboard for a more environmentally friendly solution.
Spray taps, tiles, or any other problem areas with vinegar and leave it for five minutes to do its work before rinsing the limescale away.
Boil white vinegar in your kettle to bring it back to its former glory.
If the plug holes in your home are constantly giving off a bad smell, use one third of a bottle of vinegar down each one to kill the bacteria there.
A cup of vinegar boiled in the microwave will give off an acidic steam that cuts through the grease that has built up in there, making it simple to wipe out afterwards.
Of course, bad smells are also a sign of blocked drains so don’t wait to call for a professional survey if you suspect a problem with them. I recommend the use of drain CCTV in London. Headaches would be diminished if you leave it down to someone else!
Those are the main two chemicals needed around the home to complete most cleaning tasks, but there are other products, such as baking soda, that can also be put to use. Baking soda is great for removing smells. Place a cup of soda in cupboards, in the fridge, or even sprinkle it over fabric furniture for a few minutes before vacuuming it off to leave a fresh smelling sofa.
That is all the advice I have for you today. Remember, things you do now may give your kids a healthier life when they are older, so be sensible about chemicals of your choosing. Safe cleaning!
I’m sure that when most people think back, they can remember a childhood pet. Whether it was a dog, cat, rabbit, or stick insect, that little critter had a place in our hearts. Children seem to have a natural empathy with their pets, and, especially in the case of dogs, the pets reciprocate.
Nowadays, owning a pet is more complicated than it was years ago. Dogs back then were allowed to roam the streets, so the hardest thing some owners ever did was to open the front door. Also, if someone was scratched by a cat or nipped by a dog, they never considered running to lawyers in an attempt to prosecute, and gain as much compensation as they could get away with (I am, of course, only referring to very minor injuries). There is also the cost of modern treatments to consider. In the age of the internet, we have access to online pet prescriptions which have helped keep the cost down. But the pet’s healthcare can be expensive nonetheless.
Owning a pet does have benefits to a family with children, here are a few reasons why.
Children learn by having some responsibility for the pet. Yes, it comes naturally for the first couple of weeks before the novelty wears off. The cuter the pet, the more eager the kids are to please, and play with it. A little puppy, for example, is far better than a little brother or sister in a child’s eyes. They will take good care of the pet for the first two or three weeks until they become familiar with it, then little jobs will slip. It’s not good to be hard on the kids, their behavior is quite normal. Before you buy the pet you should be aware that the ultimate responsibility for its welfare is yours. Just a little reminder every now and then that the hamster needs feeding or the dog needs brushing is all they need.
A puppy, if that is your choice, will provide companionship for a child, even when they are tired and are a bit fed up it tugging at their socks. Think back to your favourite pet; it was a good feeling. If a pet is introduced to the family when the child is at a young age, it we be as much a member of the family, in that child’s eyes, as anyone else is.
If the family pet is a dog, everyone can benefit from the daily walks. Yes, soon enough you will be arguing over who took it out last, and whose turn it is now, but everyone will get a little more exercise in the long run.
The biggest drawback with owning a pet, is their lifespan. Most are considerably shorter than ours, therefore, at some point, heartbreak is virtually assured. The time will come when a grave will need to be dug in the garden for the little hamster, or maybe the goldfish will be flushed to a watery grave. Even this experience has benefits. The child will learn that nothing lives forever. It also gives them a chance to get a new pet. Yes, the grieving will be over quite quickly and a visit to the pet shop will ensue.
There are few drawbacks to a child owning a pet of their own. Vicious dogs are obviously a bad choice for a family pet, but a little hamster, a mongrel puppy, or a fluffy kitten can only be good for a child’s happiness. Get a pet today, you are just as excited as the little ones really.
We all know how important it can be to have a hobby when you’re a child, and so today we’re going to take a look at some ideas you might consider pushing on your own little ones. Obviously, they’ll need to show some interest themselves to ensure they stick at them, but so long as you seem really enthusiastic about the suggestion, they’re likely to pick up on this and follow suit. With that in mind, give me your full attention for the next four or five minutes, and I’ll try to present you some with really cool ideas your children are bound to love. The best thing about them? They won’t cost the earth, and they could keep the smallest members of your family occupied and out of trouble.
Admittedly, some kids do find porcelain dolls to be a little spooky, but so long as you don’t let them watch horror films where these toys come to life (and there are a lot of those), they probably won’t pick up on some of the fears others have. At the end of the day, there are millions of different dolls to choose from, and many of them do become highly sought after collectable items after a few years. So, buy a decent glass cabinet and start filling it up!
There probably aren’t many girls who want to start collecting stamps, but for whatever reason, boys have always loved it. The Royal Mail is constantly releasing new versions, special limited edition designs and more, so it does actually become quite interesting when you get involved. Just make sure you buy a decent quality presentation case or folder, as you’ll want them to stay in tip top condition.
Again, this one is usually appealing to boys, but some girls also show an interest, so don’t completely rule it out for your little princess. Whether they like formula one models or touring cars, you’ll have no trouble finding some really good quality ones online or in your local shopping centre. Just remember that you’ll need to keep the boxes unopened if you want them to be worth anything in the future.
Most people start a keyring collection without consciously meaning to, and this is because you end up buying things like this when you go on holiday. Even so, kids do seem to really like stuff of this nature, and keyrings are never going to cost you more than around £5, so this hobby certainly won’t break the bank. Also, if you tell all your relatives about it, they might even bring your children keyrings back from different destinations when they’ve been on holiday, and this will be exciting for them.
Now we’ve reached the end of this short article, I hope you’ve managed to find something suitable for your children to collect. If you haven’t, I at least hope you’ve gained the inspiration needed to think of the perfect hobby.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I’ll see you soon!