Archive of ‘Tips’ category
If your child has a birthday party coming up, then you obviously want to make sure that they have the best time EVER. Birthdays are 10 times as exciting for kids as they are for us adults, so making them special is a must. Yes, you could simply hire a hall, invite their friends, and hope for the best, but what makes a truly amazing party are the entertaining extras! Need inspiration? this post will give you plenty of ideas:
Image taken from Flickr
A Fun Photobooth
Fun photobooths are all the rage, and can be placed anywhere within a party venue ready for both kids and adults to pile in and have their picture taken. It might look like one of those booths where you get your passport photo taken, but it’s much more fun and can even come with props to make the photographs twice as hilarious!
A Karaoke Machine
Who doesn’t love to sing on the karaoke? You’ll get hours of entertainment, plenty of entertaining videos, and some very excited children. Take a look at these karaoke machine reviews to find the perfect one for the party!
Clowns can be lots of fun, but do be careful that no one at the party has a phobia. Some children hate clowns so check with their parents before booking yours. However, some children love clowns, and some of them can do some great tricks/offer great entertainment packages. You might even want to take it one step further if your child loves to be scared, and hire a clown to follow them around like this crazy service. Just be warned: you might end up paying for counselling afterwards.
A Face Painter
Most children love having their faces painted, as they can be anything they want to be; a butterfly, a smurf, a tiger, or something else even more fun and creative.
A Bouncy Castle
Adults and children love bouncing on bouncy castles at parties – who’d have thought that some rubber filled with air could provide hours of entertainment? It’s even a great workout too, so you don’t need to feel guilty about plying the kids with sweets and cakes!
A Balloon Artist
Great balloon artists can make all kinds of fun balloon toys; dogs, hats, balls, butterflies – you name it, they can make it. The kids are fascinated watching them, and they get some lovely souvenirs to take home with them afterwards.
A Confectionary Cart
Confectionary carts look amazing even as just a decoration at a children’s party, but they’re also perfect for giving the kids a sugar rush they’ll never forget. You can get traditional Pic ‘n’ Mix sweets with them, and even some little bags for the kids to take a selection home along with the traditional slice of birthday cake. We think their mums and dads will even love this too!
Are you hiring one of these entertaining extras for your child on their birthday? Let us know in the comments…thanks for reading!
It seems there are a lot of children’s TV shows and a lot of grown up family shows. But what about those TV programs you used to watch as a child? You know, the ones that seemed daggy at the time, but in retrospect were full of wholesome values? Your parents would gather you around the TV every Saturday night for some classic family bonding coupled with the latest Warner Bros release.
There are a stack of great TV shows to show your children – but can you remember the names of any off the top of your head? That show you used to watch every afternoon? The programme you laughed to? Cried to? Grew up with? Check out these classics that you and your children will love!
Little House on the Prairie
The simple life. A family that works together, plays together, lives together, laughs and cries together. Set on the backdrop of the American frontier, your children will marvel at the Ingalls family as they struggle and succeed in this harsh environment.
The Wonder Years
Who could forget this classic coming of age TV series? We all joined in teenage angst with Kevin, Paul and Winnie as they navigated the stormy waters of growing up. From first kisses, parents, school troubles, driving and a liberal dose of humour, The Wonder Years had it all. Look past the classic 80’s clothing and your kids will discover that some things never go out of style!
The Cosby Show
The Huxtables brought us into their Brooklyn home and into their hearts. We could all relate to and laugh with the whole family. Based on classic values, the Cosby Show brought down many racial barriers in US television, showing a normal, loving, clean-living family into our living rooms. What made the Cosby Show a great program for your children? It’s hilarious! Bill Cosby’s seamless humour and candour will certainly resonate with your children.
No-one, but no-one can look at a paperclip, gaffer-tape or Swiss Army knife the same way after watching an episode of MacGyver! You were amazed at the way MacGyver could get out of any situation using his bare wits and simple gadgets. Your children too will be amazed at how MacGyver used smarts to get out of almost any situation. A classic TV series that shows violence is not the answer to problems, and that clear thinking, education and a paperclip can get you out of any difficult situation!
There are heaps of classic shows that are perfect for you and your children to watch. Shows that you don’t need to worry about covering your children’s eyes or ears. Shows that won’t give them nightmares. Classics you can snuggle up together and spend a night in front of the TV with. As any parent will attest, there are so many programs that don’t support those values you hold close too. Why not check out some of the classics to enjoy together?
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.