Archive of ‘Tips’ category
If your child is lucky enough to have an iPhone, there are a million and one apps they could choose to download. There are educational apps, games, and even apps to do with gardening! But do you just let your child get on with it and download whatever they like, or do you like to make sure they’ve got a good mix of everything, so they aren’t stuck playing games all day? The following apps are extremely handy for kids iPhones:
SurfBalance Safe Browser for Kids
This app allows your child to develop better web usage skills by filtering how they use the internet. You can then look at total usage, usage by category, and get an idea of how they are spending their time with their iPhone. You can choose from 3 different levels, depending on how old your child is. You can also receive a free weekly email report of how your child browses the web! It’s the best way to monitor them and keep them safe.
Photo taken from the App Store
The Hidden app is the kind of app we’ve all been waiting for. It allows you to install it on your Apple devices (however many you like), and you can then recover the iPhone if it ever gets lost or stolen! You can take pictures of the thief with a built in feature, so you know who has the phone, watch their actions, and even track them.
Photo taken from Hidden
This app is one of the best out there for parents, as you don’t need to sort through page after page of symptoms. It’s got plenty of first aid advice and information that you can really use when your child gets injured or feels poorly.
Photo taken from the App Store
Reading is definitely one of the greatest pleasures in life, so it’s important that we get our children into it from an early age. As the saying goes, ‘a reader lives hundreds of lives, while a non reader only lives one’. You can browse and download a plethora of books with this app, making bedtime, daytime, and any time reading for that matter, so simple, fun, and effective! No more books taking up too much space either – hooray! If you’ve got a Kindle, you can even access your current Kindle library by syncing the app to your account.
Photo taken from the App Store
Not every child is lucky enough to have an iPhone, but if yours does, these apps will help them to use their phone much more productively. Not only will they be able to browse the web safely, they can read to their heart’s content, and find their phone if they ever lose it. Not only that, if your child ever shows signs of illness, you’ll be able to grab their iPhone and work out what’s wrong with them and what you can do about it in an instant!
Have any of these apps helped your child to do the things mentioned above? Let us know in the comments!
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!
Retirement homes still have a negative stereotype in that many people believe they‘re lifeless and that they signal a loss of independence. But that’s simply not the case. In fact, if you talk to many people who live in retirement homes, they will tell you that they’ve been given a new lease of life. Here are some reasons why…
The social aspect
Many elderly people spend days on end at home without seeing or speaking to anyone, yet in a retirement home there is always someone to have a chat to. Of course, you can spend time on your own if you so wish, but you’ll never be lonely. There are, of course, all the other residents with which to converse, but then there’s also the various staff and volunteers around the place. And that’s just in between visits from family.
The many activities and facilities on offer
Any retirement home worth its salt will have a plethora of activities on offer to help you get the most out of your time there. There may be some activities you already enjoy, such as gardening, but there’s a good chance that you’ll find plenty of new things to do you haven’t tried before. Brunswick Gardens retirement home, for example, has many different activities and facilities available, including a café, craft room, fitness suite, IT suite, library, woodwork room, beauty salon, and much more. We all know that keeping active in old age is important, so having more things to do is essential.
You get the care you need
This might not sound particularly glamorous but it’s tremendously important. If you’re at home and not receiving the correct level of care then it will naturally impact on your life. However, if you’re receiving the correct level of care, around the clock if needed, then you’ll be much more able to enjoy the various aspects of your life. Despite what you might have read in the press, the vast, vast majority of care homes provide unrivalled care from highly trained professionals who really can make a difference to your care and quality of life. Your family and friends will also be happy to know you’re getting the care you need.
Not ready for retirement living? Try volunteering!
Retirement homes can give a new lease of life to anyone, not just the elderly or those needing round the clock care. It’s also incredibly rewarding for volunteers. If you’re looking for a career in health care of some sort or would just like to do something worthwhile, then volunteering is an excellent option. Not only will you be helping to improve people’s quality of life, but you’ll also be saving the organisation some much-needed money in the process, not to mention how good it’ll look on a potential job application.
As the world of the internet and smart phones continues to dominate our everyday lives, industries the world over are being influenced, from online shopping to online gambling. If you want to live in the 21st century, consider bypassing the corner shop next time you want to buy a lottery ticket – here are a few reasons why it’s better to play lotto online.
You don’t have to go anywhere
We all know that we our beloved British weather cannot be relied upon when we need it most, so why take the risk of popping out to the shops to buy a lottery ticket when you can access the benefits from your home computer? Saving you time and the temptation to buy a cheeky choccy bar, playing online will work wonders for your wallet and your waistline.
You can bet on the go
It’s Saturday night and the lottery numbers are being read in ten minutes, but you’ve forgotten to buy a ticket! This was a common nightmare for lottery lovers in the days of yore, but thanks to the advent of today’s smart phones, you can play lotto at the touch of a button, whether you’re on the commute home or tucked up in bed.
You can win great prizes
The wealth of available prizes with online lotto sites is indeed much greater than your typical Saturday night rollover. With a whole host of playing options, you can play anything from a lucky dip to strategically placing your bets up to 10 days in advance, and with more than just cash prizes available, you can even win a VIP weekend trip to Dublin.
You can play with your friends
Gone are the days where offices would go to the toil of buying a huge round of lottery tickets for a big rollover sweepstake – playing with friends is much easier with online lotto. If your friend has forgotten to buy a ticket, all he or she has to do is whip out a smart phone and start playing straight away, and you can even compare results together just by looking at a screen.
You can save the world
As news of the deforestation continues to get us down, the eco warrior gamblers amongst us can rest assured that they’re not destroying trees by needlessly buying lottery tickets. Plus, if you’re not already bragging to your friends about your big wins, you can also show off by telling them just how many trees you’ve saved by making the switch. So you’re playing the game and saving the planet – what better excuse is there than that?
You are the woman that wants it all. As a busy mum, it can incredibly difficult to get back into work and still care for your family. Of course, there comes a point with every mum when all they want to do is regain their independence (or freedom!) and go back to work. Being a mum is rewarding, but it not your sole purpose in life. If you are in a career quandary, then look no further. You will be inspired and amazed at the jobs that you can do that you can fit around the kids:
Image is courtesy of Gypsy in Moda via Flickr
Laundry and Cleaning Services
Sure, you may have had your fill of cleaning and laundry at home, but so many people employ the services of cleaning personnel that it seems silly not to get on the bandwagon. Many people want to employ reliable and trustworthy cleaning staff but don’t know where to start. You could be that go-to lady! The great thing is, is that you can fit it in around the kids school hours and choose hours that suit you and your family. What is more, you can charge your own rates, be your own boss and master of your own destiny. What’s not to love? If you are unsure where to start, contact an expert company such as Laundry Express for more information.
Buy a Franchise
Buying a franchise is incredibly easy. Look at the existing franchise within your area and bobs your uncle. There are many franchises available that you could suit your lifestyle as a busy parent. Tumble Tots is a great franchise. What is more, you can involve your own children, should they be of the right age. Take time to think about what you are passionate about and put that passion into the working world. Not only will you be happier for it, but it will also prove to be financially rewarding too.
Apply For Freelance Work
The internet has opened up so many doors for busy mums who are desperate to get back into the workplace. Utilise the web and see what is available to suit you. You can freelance in anything, from writing to project management, childminding and administration. Some of these jobs you can do from home, but there are a wide range of opportunities to get back into the office on a freelance basis. This is great for busy mums who don’t want to commit full time to their career.
Do Your Own Thing
The secret to success is down to you as an individual. There are lots of mums that run independent businesses such as playgroups and the like. Lots of these women are ordinary mums, like me and you, who have taken a skill, interest and passion and turned it into a viable and profitable business. Think about you what love to do, (this could be art, creative play, music, cooking, finance – the list is endless!) what skills you have, your work history and apply them to the working world. Setting up a business from home is relatively easy. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so!
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.
Have you ever wondered how green and eco-friendly your home actually was? I, if I’m honest, am always worried that I am perhaps not doing all I should be doing to ensure that my lifestyle and household are as environmentally friendly as possible. I was pleased then to find that Australian Solar Quotes were running a quiz that aimed to tell you just that, how green or not your home was. Click here to take it, or I have embedded it below for you.
Many of the questions are what you would expect to be featured in this kind of quiz, but there are some surprising questions along the way that made me think about my own practices to keep my home green. For instance, the first question asks about the type of lightbulbs you have in your home – well, that didn’t make me feel too bad as I swapped to LEDs a long time ago.
The next question though in the quiz threw me a little because it was all about the paint used to decorate. It was only in the last year or so that I redecorated a large percentage of my house and up until that point I was not aware of all the different types of paints available. This is why this question threw me with choices of paint with lead-free components, VOC paint and high lead paint components. I actually had to find an old tin of paint to check.
Like I said, there are some questions that you could guess were included in the quiz. Obvious ones such as “what kind of energy does your home run on” “What is in your fridge?”(In reference to whether or not you have processed foods, organic and fresh or a mixture), “what kind of cleaning products do you use?” and “how eco-friendly is your garden?”
However, the ones I found really interesting were the ones that asked things such as “let’s be honest, how sustainable is your dishwashing practices?” I felt quite bad, as my answer was not the best and greenest one from the multiple choice list. The same could be said for the “where does your main source of water come from?” I had never actually considered that before, neither had I considered what materials I used to cover my floors.
After I had answered the questions I submitted them and was taken to a page with the percentage (according to their quiz) of how green my house was. In some ways I was happy that I scored 50%, but it shows that even if I feel I do a lot more to be eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious that a lot of my friends, relatives and neighbours; that there is still so much more I can do. The results were given with some choice words of advice, which just served as a reminder that when you are trying to make your home greener, it is the little things that count the most – the little things you change. Whether this is the way you wash dishes or take care of your garden, the results will be that your conscience will be clearer and your home will be greener.
Prom season is almost here, and young girls all over the world are celebrating the end of their high school years with a big, formal party better than any they’ve been to before. One of the most exciting things about prom, for girls anyway, is the fact that they get to dress up in beautiful dresses, wear gorgeous makeup, and have their hair done by a professional. The whole affair is getting more and more elaborate as the years go on. For the day, they get to feel like a star! However, it’s you that has to foot the bill for your daughter’s big day, and while it’s important, it isn’t her wedding. While you want her to have the best time, you need to plan it so you can fit it in with your finances. Let’s take a look at how you can help your daughter plan her prom:
Photo taken from Flickr
The first thing you’ll need to do is go out and find a beautiful dress for your daughter. Everything else is based around the dress: the jewellery, the hairstyle, everything. If you feel you won’t be able to go the whole hog in every aspect of prom, you may want to discuss with your daughter what the most important thing is to her; having an extravagant, expensive dress, or having her hair/makeup done by professionals. If she wants a luxury dress, then many bridal stores sell them and will allow her to try them on. Make sure she doesn’t try too many on, as they are all gorgeous and she’ll literally be spoilt for choice!
If she doesn’t mind too much about the dress and would rather make an impression with her hair and makeup, you can find amazing dresses for a fraction of the price of real prom dresses online. Try checking stores like Lipsy, Asos, and even eBay for a bargain.
Jewellery and Accessories
Usually, the dress will do all of the talking. However, a few accessories can still set the whole thing off and give the look that ‘woah!’ factor. Decide on one or two main accessories; perhaps a tiara and bracelet. If she doesn’t want a tiara, she can afford to wear more sparkly jewellery.
Transport to prom is usually in a luxury vehicle like a limo. Ask your daughter what her friends are doing, and you may be able to split the cost with their parents to make it easier for you all. Bergen Limo have affordable prom limos in NJ, so check them out!
Hair and Makeup and Other Beauty Treatments
Depending on your budget, you can book your daughter in with a professional hair and makeup artist, or encourage her to experiment herself. She may want to do her makeup herself, and have somebody do her hair, or vice versa. Make sure you look at the portfolio of any professional you speak to, to make sure they can offer the style your daughter would like. You may also want to book your daughter in for a spray tan, manicure, eyelash extensions/tinting, and waxing. Make sure you do this in good time and with somebody with a great reputation! You could even encourage your daughter to watch Youtube tutorials together and attempt some things yourselves. Practice makes perfect!
Don’t feel pressured to spend thousands on your daughter’s prom if it’s out of your budget. Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll both be ecstatic with the outcome!
Nothing is as rewarding as being a parent, but boy, it sure does hurt. No one quite prepares you for how tired and how sore you will feel when you are embarking on a journey into motherhood. Many busy mums will attest to how sore and aching they feel after a day of carrying around their precious cargo. Your children grow big and strong on a daily basis, and you are left feeling like you have done a lap of the gym at the end of every day!
Instead of turning to a large glass of vino at the end of the day to relax (although it is the perfect solution to all of life’s problems,!) there are ways that you can revive tired muscles, without having to resort to such drastic measures.
Thank you to Charlie Brewer for the brilliant image
In my voyage into parenthood, I experienced aches and pains like I never thought possible, as I’m sure many new mothers will testify. One of the most useful devices that I was brought by another mummy was a muscle roller. At first, I thought these were solely used by athletes and sports people (although running around after a baby can make you feel that you are training for a sporting event) but after some research I found that they were perfect for alleviating the aches and pains that come with being a parent.
First of all, muscle rollers are perfect for those wanting a natural solution to aches and pains, and are fantastic for those that do not wish to medicate problems. After all, medicating doesn’t make the pain go away for the long term. The muscle roller is used by performing a number of exercises on the device that relieve muscle tension. Various exercises are performed in 10 minute bursts, which are perfect for busy mums. It is best that the device is used daily to ensure maximum results.
For each exercise, focussing on all body parts, such as arms, legs and hips, slowly roll back and forth for 20 to 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise and problem area. The key to successfully using the muscle roller is to ensure that you take deep breaths, thus allowing your muscles to relax. One key factor to remember is to avoid roller on your joints, only allow the muscle roller to focus on your muscles at all times. Once you have hit a tender spot, or trigger point, stop rolling on the muscle roller and apply direct pressure for a minimum of 15 seconds. Once the pain disappears, you have targeted the problem area and resolved any muscle issues that you may have.
This is the perfect contraption for those who want to alleviate the daily aches and pains of being a busy mum. Similarly, if you enjoy yoga and Pilates, this device will help resolve the associated pains of this workout. The muscle roller has saved my life! It has helped me to de-stress and relax after a long day of playing mum. After all, a happy, relaxed parent results in happier children.