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If you’ve ever had to undertake a long journey with young children in tow then you’re probably already all-too-familiar with how challenging this can be. If you’re traveling by car, this can be difficult enough. But if you’re using public transport, the experience can prove to be even more of a challenge. People aren’t always quite as patient with children as perhaps they should be. So, if yours are crying because they’re bored or tired, you may end up being faced with a barrage of filthy looks and unsympathetic faces.
So, to help ensure that your next trip with the children doesn’t end up being the journey from hell, we strongly advise that you take a few minutes to read this post.
Have Plenty to Keep them Entertained
Thanks to the amazing advancements in modern technology, keeping the kids entertained on a long journey isn’t half as hard as it used to be. In the not-so-distant past, parents were forced to lug coloring books, crayons, jigsaws and Lego onto planes, trains and automobiles. Nowadays, moms and dads can thankfully travel a little lighter. Cell phones and tablets have all manner of games and applications to keep the little ones occupied.
Just make sure you set some parental locks on the device beforehand to prevent spending a fortune on accidental in-app purchases. Just as important is to make sure that your phone or tablet has got plenty of battery life. The last thing you want is to run out of juice, and then have to deal with a bored and restless child for the remainder of the journey. For this reason, it’s also always best to have a back-up plan in place. So, chuck a couple of activity books and Zebra pen refills into a bag to give you that extra peace of mind.
Have a Good Old Fashioned Sing-Song
This is one probably best kept for family-only road trips, where you’re traveling by car. Kids love anything interactive, and there are countless traditional car songs that require you to interact as a family, as well as sing. ‘Wheels on the bus’ is a rather obvious choice, but the song endures for a reason – both kids and adults love it! For older kids, singing a favorite family pop song works just as well.
Traditional car games such as the ‘license plate game’ are another great way of stopping boredom from setting in when you’re traveling for long periods at a time. You can also use it as an opportunity to test your kid’s geography skills. Even if your child is yet to go to school, there’s nothing wrong with starting them young! Ask them questions about the environment around them. Also, make sure they at least have a vague understanding of where it is they’re going. Encouraging them to be interested in, and ask questions about, the world around them will place them in good stead for their future education.
Now you’re armed with plenty of ideas and inspiration. So, just follow our advice and you’ll never have to contend with bored children on a long journey again!
Image Source: Flickr
Planning your big day with your beloved is a special time in any relationship. When you have children together, this can heighten the sense of togetherness. For many couples, they have made the decision to have children first, and conclude with the formalities later. Of course, planning your wedding day when you have children in tow can make the affair a little more stressful. No one said that planning a wedding would be a stress-free endeavour.
With thanks to Ali Nishan for the image
But, there are some utterly perfect ways that you can plan your big day after you have had children. Let’s take a look at how this can be done:
Include Your Children in More Ways Than One
Of course, you will want your children to be flower girls, page boys and important parts of your day. This goes without saying. But, you can include them in the planning stages of your special day. For many couples, getting a child’s perspective on proceedings can add to the romanticism of their big day. Take them to your preferred venues and get their opinions on things. Kids are known to be brutally honest. Getting their opinion is important. It can add a lot more to the affair.
Request that your kids help you with the smaller details too. Wedding card designs, dresses and flowers are all important parts of the day. See how the children feel about these things and use their ideas. Utilising your kids’ ideas will make your wedding day even more special. Completing these tasks as a family will heighten your feelings of togetherness.
Ask your children to do a reading or say a few words in front of your guests. Ask them to write a poem about their mummy and daddy. Poems are the perfect way to include your children in the main event. It’s fair to say; you won’t have a dry eye in the house.
Planning is Everything
Factoring in your kids needs on your big day is important. While you may feel that your big day is about you, you need to consider how they are going to feel during the main event. They may feel tired and irritable. What’s more, they will want to snack throughout the day, not wait for a big meal. You need to incorporate their schedule into your wedding day plans and timetable. This will make for a more enjoyable experience for all. The extra planning may seem like a burden, but it will help your day go more smoothly.
Budgeting and Money Matters
When you have children, your priorities change. You may have dreamt of the big white wedding. But, if you cannot afford this with the kids in tow, it may be time to be more realistic about your plans. You can still have a lavish big day, but you may need to invite fewer people. Keep your guest list small and intimate. Stick to close friends and family. What is more, if your kids know the guests at your wedding, they will feel more comfortable. A room full of strangers can be intimidating. Plus, you will have a lot of extra hands to help with babysitting duties.
In recent years, dating websites have helped completely transformed the world of dating. Now, instead of drunken meetings in random clubs, bars and social events, it’s possible to find potential partners through reputable dating sites. Definitely the best thing about this process is you’ve got a greater chance of a relationship developing into a long term thing simply because you are privy to important information about other single people in advance that you don’t have if you’ve met someone randomly on a night out.
So dating websites have changed the dating process largely for the better, or so it would seem.
Admittedly, online dating cannot guarantee you’ll find love, but it’s certainly worth giving a good go. I’ve included a few tips below that may be useful if you’re considering giving online dating a try…
1. Be honest in your personal profile.
Honesty is by the best policy when putting together your personal profile. It’s hard not to feel the pressure to add a plethora of hobbies and interests simply because everybody else seems to have added loads and because you don’t want to appear boring. This will only result in immense difficulties and embarrassment further down the line when somebody questions you about your “hobbies”. Remember, it’s only worth being with somebody who likes and respects you for you.
2. Don’t disregard a nice person based on a picture.
Despite it being a dead cert that the vast majority will have selected their most flattering pic to submit as their profile picture, some people simply just don’t take a good photograph. It’s worth remembering this fact if you find someone with interests and hobbies that match your own, and who you find you enjoy interacting with because you may discover you’re attracted to them in person, if you choose to later meet up.
3. Consider what is essential to you in a life partner.
It’s good to establish a concrete idea of what qualities are important to you in a potential partner before you start chatting to people. One fab aspect of dating online is that, technically, you could meet someone who is close to exactly what you are searching for. Although, of course, nobody will ever be perfect, online dating gives you a degree of control over certain characteristics, for instance, your potential partner’s level of education, or their earnings, whether they smoke, drink, want (or have) children. These things often don’t matter in the short term, but can quickly and easily become sources of conflict later on, so thinking carefully about what you want or don’t want can aid you in finding somebody who matches you and your needs in important areas.
4. Remember that practically everyone finds online dating hard!
Although you should aim to be as natural as possible in your interactions online, remember that the people you’re chatting to are likely to also be finding the online dating process tough, so perhaps their messages may not be truly reflective of their actual personalities. They may appear to try too hard, or go the opposite way by keeping their communications simple to the point of being boring, or they may hide their sense of humour because they haven’t got to grips with your humour yet.
Remember, online interactions don’t convey tone, facial expression or body language, which often results in points being misinterpreted all too quickly and easily. Remember this when you’re communicating via the site and give people a bit more time to get to know you and relax a little and, consequently, for their true personality to come through.
5. Don’t be embarrassed about meeting someone through a dating website.
There was once a stigma associated with online dating, but this is definitely now a thing of the past. In some cases, older generations not quite as au fait with the wonders of the Internet as the younger generation is may not completely understand or appreciatethe process, but with such a dramatic increase in the popularity of online dating sites it’s inevitable that the stigma has been practically eradicated.
This post was written by Becky Stretton, author of the parenting blog, Green Duo. Visit her blog to read all about Becky, her husband Steve, their new baby daughter Phoebe-Rae and all their adventures in their green, eco-friendly household.
It’s a sad statistic that, in the United States alone, nearly 50% of all married couples will end up getting a divorce at some stage of their marriage. There are all sorts of reasons why couples decide that a divorce is the right decision, ranging from infidelity, lifestyle changes and even for publicity reasons (celebrities getting divorced after just a months or even weeks of marriage is becoming commonplace).
Are you married? Is your love on the rocks? If so, you might be thinking that divorce is the only way out of an unhappy marriage. But have you thought about working at your marriage rather than just giving up? You might surprise yourself to learn that there are actually some practical steps both of you can take to improve things. Here are a few reasons why divorce can often be a bad idea for unhappy couples.
Photo via Flickr (image credit: saintpo798)
It will affect you more than you realize
The thing about divorces is that many couples often end up thinking that they hate each other, but as time goes on after their divorce, they realize just how much they are in love with one another.
This is because the time apart has made them think about the reasons why they got together in the first place, and the subsequent reasons for their relationship malfunction. Many divorcees often end up resolving their differences and getting back together again, and whilst this is a good thing, it’s bad that they had to get divorced first before they found out what caused their marriage breakdown in the first place, costing them both a lot of time, heartache money in the process!
It will devastate your kids
I know that some people stay together “for the sake of the kids”, but ultimately you cannot sacrifice your happiness for your offspring. If one or both of you truly feel unhappy with your marriage, it would be more beneficial to see marriage counselling and to work on why things are going bad rather than admitting defeat and having to deal with the onset of a messy divorce.
Writing this blog post has actually made me recall my younger days, and how my parents had decided to get a divorce when I was around 10 years old.
My dad wasn’t really around much if I’m honest, and my mom seemed somewhat angry towards me as time went on – simply because I was the product of their union, and I was a “reminder” of her ex-husband, as she explained to me when I was old enough to “understand”.
Quite often when I was growing up, I used to envy my friends simply because they had two parents that were willing to share in their child’s life together.
Sadly, a lot of kids end up on the receiving end of divorces like that, when really their parents could have at least attempted to make an effort to work together in an effort to determine what the causes of their relationship breakdown were.
Divorces are expensive
Regardless of whether you get a divorce in Florida or in Ohio, one thing you will soon realize (perhaps to your horror), is that divorces are usually expensive!
In my experience, the only times a divorce is ever “cheap” is when both parties mutually agree to divorce, there are no children involved, and each party does not wish to stake a claim for the other person’s assets.
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.
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?