Archive of ‘Family’ category
Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things you will ever do. This can be so much more so during the winter. Dark afternoons can put you on a much tighter schedule, the unpredictability of the weather can make it hard to pick a moving day. Then there’s the house itself. More than ever you need to make sure your new house is ready to be lived in.
Check the Forecast
While a weather forecast is never going to be 100% accurate, it can help you prepare. Try to pick a moving day where the long-term forecast is clear and dry. As moving day gets closer, keep checking, so you can be prepared for whatever changes may come.
Check Your Pipes
Before moving day, go to your new house and double check the central heating is in full working order. Check that all the pipes are insulated, that there’s no leaks from the boiler or other pipes and that nothing is making any odd noises. Turn the heating on for a few hours and run the hot water to make sure everything works and to give it a bit of a kick start if it hasn’t been on for a while. You could also now set your timers, so the heating comes on for a little each day before you move in. If there are any problems, head to https://plentific.com/ to get everything sorted before you move. Even if you think everything is fine, it might be worth getting a plumber from Plentific over just to be sure.
Make sure you are dressed appropriately for a winter move. There’s going to be a lot of lifting and carrying, so it’s best to layer in case you get too hot. Gloves and warm, safe boots will be a must, especially if it snows. Make sure you pack any winter essentials, such as big coats and thick pyjamas that you’ll need in those first few days, separately so they’re easy to find.
The Little Details
Can you park next to your old and new house? You don’t want to be outside for too long. Or carrying things too far in what might be icy, or wet conditions. If you can’t, try contacting neighbours to see if they’d mind you using their parking space for the day. Or the council to see if there’s anything they can do to help.
Have some nice warming food ready for when the move is finished. After a big day moving in cold weather, you’re going to want something comforting. Prepare it in advance so you only need to warm it up.
Have the kettle, some cups, milk, sugar and tea and coffee in your new house ready. Moving is exhausting, especially when you’re cold. You’ll deserve the odd break to warm up and reenergise.
When you move house in the winter, preparation and organisation are the keys to success. Moving house can be an incredibly exciting event. Use this advice and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a stress-free moving day, followed by a great life in your new home.
Even when things might seem a long way off, there is still a lot to be said for making plans in advance.
It gives you time to think about what’s going to happen, how you want events to unfurl, how much any arrangements might cost and how – or who – is going to pay for them.
This is a basic principle that applies every bit as much to planning for the funeral you want at the end of your life. It might be many years to come, but advance planning is likely to help ensure that what you want is what you get – and, just as important, are able to pay for. Prepaid funeral plans may offer a solution.
The rising cost of funerals
SunLife’s latest annual Cost of Dying study reveals that the cost of a typical funeral has increased by 5.5% in the past year to £3,897 – rising much faster than any cost of living, with the pace of growth outstripping inflation, wages and pensions.
With the cost of your funeral likely to outstrip the rate of inflation – many times over – there is a very real danger that you loved ones are going to struggle to find the money to give you the final send-off you have always planned and deserve.
Beating the market
By planning ahead, you stand a very good chance of staying ahead of the game and paying in advance for the funeral you will eventually want at today’s prices.
Funeral plans work in a very simple and straight forward way. You nominate the funeral directors you want to perform the service and make all the arrangements you may care to make. Instead of paying the funeral director directly in advance – a facility offered by many funeral directors – you pay a specifically established national provider of funeral plans.
In this way, you avoid the risk of the funeral directors you have chosen going out of business and, so, potentially losing the money you have paid up front. A national provider, on the other hand, ensures that the money you paid remains safe and secure by keeping it in a specially set up trust fund or through the purchase of a whole of life insurance policy which pays out that amount when you die.
Finding a funeral plan provider
There are a number of companies offering one form or another of this type of funeral planning, so you may find it more than a little confusing choosing the one in which to place your trust.
Fortunately, there are also a number of online resources which allow you to compare one with another. These may also offer you the additional security and reassurance of knowing that any funeral plan provider on which you are given a quote is also backed by the Funeral Planning Authority – a regulatory body which obliges its members to adhere to a strict code of practice to ensure that customers’ interests and rights are followed first and foremost.
So, having kids and a husband and a house to run can be quite demanding, well, very demanding actually. I love my life, my kids, my hubby and my extended family but I will never not miss the times I could just come home from work and put my feet up, eat my tea, do a bit of work and then chill out, or just come home and straight up chill out. It’s because of this and the way I miss just chilling out sometimes that I figured I’d try and come up with some different ways to unwind, but with the family and kids about.
I’ve found, as I’m sure millions of other parents have, that being a parent, as rewarding as it is, can be mega stressful. When I get stressed, I tend to tense up big time. Now this particular title may seem a bit odd to be jumping into considering the whole post is about unwinding and relaxing is about as obvious as it gets but bear with me.
When I say relax, I mean be more relaxed around you children. It’s rare that your kids will behave in a way that mixes perfectly with your current state whether that be standard you or emotional you. A good way to ensure that you stay relaxed around your kids is to set broad, non-negotiable limits and then let your children have a free run within those limits. At times, they’ll do stuff that is within the limits but it may make you easy or they may be pushing their limits and that’s when I just breathe and smile.
This is something that I always find helps me to relax and always make me feel a bit more at ease and also it reminds me actually that I’m blessed to have my own children. I find though that if I act more relaxed around my kids that they tend to pick up on that a little and they tend not to get as rowdy as usual, but of course that could just be me overthinking things.
This is something that I find helps me massively. I only manage to get out twice a week at the minute but going out for a run and bringing the kids with me on their bikes is a great way to relax. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m running on the pavement by the road and they’re on their bikes, it does get a little hairy at times as they get a little too close to the passing cars but it’s good for us all to get out and get some fresh air and we don’t spend too much time on the pavements, we just head straight to the park and I run laps of that and it gives the kids a bit of freedom to ride out in front of me.
This time out of the house is good for all of us, I put my headphones in on a low volume when we get to the park and the twenty to thirty minutes or so that we’re there, I have that time to just unwind, listen to some relaxing music and clear my head which helps me to relax and generally by the time we get home, my other half is back and he takes over the kids for an hour or so while I go and have a bath and generally (barring the odd time) when I come back downstairs, they’re ready for bed and are quite relaxed themselves. Exercising is a massive help to me, no question.
Take a Mental Holiday
This is something that I have been doing quite a bit recently. I get dead tense when negative things crop into my head and I find that I start to stress even more and over think things and I find that if I do the opposite and think good things it helps me massively.
I prepare to go on this mental “holiday” by taking a few deep breaths and when I’m ready and calm (or calmer than I was), I close my eyes and imagine I’m somewhere that I enjoy being or would love to be right at that moment. It’s a bit more than just imagining it though, I try to fully experience this moment in my head, I see the sights all around me, hear the sounds and feel the place that I’m in, in my head. I try to allow myself a good ten to fifteen minutes for this exercise and once I’m finished, I feel a lot more relaxed than before I went on my “holiday”.
Family Days Out
This may seem a little odd to include in this list but it’s a good way for the whole family to get out and relax together. These only tend to happen at the weekend or during school holidays but they do work when we’ve all been out somewhere together. There’s loads of good days out with the kids that can be had in the UK. One of my favorites is playing badminton with the kids. From Blackpool Pleasure Beach to one of the various Go Ape sites dotted around the country, there’s plenty of choices.
Playing board games as a fun, social and educational pass time is a dearly valued and long-held tradition in American culture. Scrabble, Mouse Trap or Trivial Pursuit – every family has their favourite! Here are some tips and inspiration to help you and your kids bring those board games to life this Halloween…
Let’s face it – Halloween is just as much about candy as it is about spooky stories and pumpkin carvings. What better way to prepare for a confectionary gorge than by celebrating the sweet-tooth’s favourite holiday with a Candyland costume? The popular board game features several fantastic characters with distinctive appearances, making them the perfect inspiration for Halloween costumes. Let your kids choose their favourite – Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Grandma Nutt or King Candy? If they can’t choose – pay tribute to the game with an outfit themed like the famously colourful board instead!
The Joker is getting a little old. Ever since Heath Ledger redefined the look of the classic Batman villain, DC comic fans have been dyeing their hair green and sporting purple suits for what has seemed like every Halloween since 2008 – but there are other cards from the deck that can provide original costume ideas. The Queen of Hearts, for example! Who can forget her iconic depiction in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? This costume is especially great because you can feel royal in a crown and extravagant dress, whilst also having a lot of fun with the unique make-up. Check out this tutorial to learn how you can recreate the famous heart-lipstick and bright blue eye look.
If you do go with the Queen of Hearts costume, it’s worth convincing a friend to compliment your Halloween attire with the Queen’s natural companion – the king, of course. Decorate with blue, yellows and reds plus plenty of suit symbols so people are left in no doubt that you’re not just any king – you’re King of the Deck! It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s expressed their love for card games in an unconventional manner...
While this costume combo might be good for a couple or friends, sometimes you want to unite the whole gang in a Halloween theme collaboration. The best board game for that? It’s clearly Cluedo! Not only will you have fun dressing up in classical 1920s fashion – you can all play the part of your character and combine the costume idea with a with a spooky mystery dinner party…perfect for Halloween.
So far, we’ve left out two very iconic board game characters that, besides being famous around the world, would be a total blast to dress up as this Halloween! Both the Operation Man and Monopoly Man have become recognized as symbols of two best-selling board games. You Operation Man costume will be twice as hilarious if you can get a flashing red button for your nose, whilst the Monopoly Man costume will let you spend Halloween handing out ‘Get out of Jail Free’ cards.
Alright, so Twister isn’t exactly a table top game – but this list would not be complete without a mention of how stylishly wacky a Twister dress can look! There’s something so totally 60s about the big colourful dots, so why not groovify the outfit with a pair of platform boots too? If you like making your own dresses, then the Twister costume will make for a straightforward textile project that is sure to earn you praise throughout Halloween…
Have we missed any?
Remember those good, old times when every new day was an adventure waiting to unravel and every movie you saw was a love at first watching? The fact that we’re adults who may (or may not) have grown out of love with Flashdance doesn’t make dance movies any less of an impact on our formative years. As a matter of fact, musicals we’ve seen in childhood were an integral part of our music education, and as such helped our younger selves develop rock-solid linguistic and spatial-temporal skills to go with an admirable IQ, memory, and talents. For all the benefits and enjoyment musicals brought us, let’s give a round of applause to the best dance movies that enriched our childhood and remember the melodies many among us still hum in the shower.
Who could ever forget Annie’s dreamful ‘Maybe’ or her buoyant ‘Tomorrow’? The tale of a little orphan girl and her dog Sandy is one of those that stay with you for a lifetime and inspire a smile every time we go back to them for a fresh dose of childlike faith that everything will turn out just fine in the end. After a series of antics and adventures ranging from dramatic to comical, Annie eventually gets her heart’s biggest desire, and the scintillating smile that seldom leaves her lips never fails to rekindle our faith in happy endings in the face of adversity.
The Sound of Music (1965)
You can’t really say you’ve ever been a kid if you haven’t seen The Sound of Music. As we follow Maria’s path from the convent to her Happily Ever After with Captain von Trapp and his children, we’re reminded of the power of an open heart and positive thinking that can make the world a better place even in the most precarious of times. After the closing credits, Maria’s “confidence in confidence alone” remains in our minds as a private lighthouse we can turn to when the going gets tougher than we’d like it to be.
The Wizard of OZ (1939)
Dorothy Gale sure is a strong girl underneath her meek semblance, and she doesn’t give up on her desires and dreams easily. As we follow Dorothy’s journey to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of OZ, we’re constantly reminded that all we seek is right there inside us: we’re as gentle as the Tinman, as courageous as the Lion, and as smart as the Scarecrow, and we certainly have all it takes to beat the Wicked Witch of the West. ‘There’s no place like home’ is one of the lessons the movie leaves with us, along with renewed faith in the power of good over evil.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John certainly know what romance, dance, and music are all about, and they’re not afraid to show it on the big screen. As the love story between Sandy and Danny unravels, the old adage about love being able to conquer all is put to test time and time again, only to emerge triumphant at the closing scenes of the musical. Even though its plot is up the coming-of-age lane, Grease is one of the biggest movies of the 20th century even folks who don’t normally watch musicals need to see at least twice.
This one goes out to all the rebels at heart who won’t settle with less than rock and dance. Ren McCormack is a teenage boy from the city trying to set his life in a small town on the right foot and coming across obstacles en route. As Ren struggles to make his voice heard and restore the right to dancing and music at the prom to his peers, the adult audience is reminded of all the challenges they’ve gone up against during their teenage years – and kids get to learn a thing or two about the value of friendship, fights for righteous ends, and bopping to rock tunes.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Life can be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if you’re in good company and know how to find fun and magic in every day. Miss Poppins, a peculiar nanny with a pack of Wow-ing magical tricks in her handbag, will color the life of a cold-hearted banker’s kids in all the shades of the rainbow, reminding us that silver linings can be as real and as dazzling as we want them to be. Even if you prefer to watch documentaries online, Mary Poppins is a must-see: it will clear away the clouds on a rainy day and inspire you to dream big and see a chance for adventure at every corner.
We’ve had the time of our lives watching musicals back when the world was sparkling new – and we should by all means go back to dance movies when the world turns grim and lackluster. After all, growing up is mandatory, but growing old shouldn’t exactly be an option you should jump at just yet. The world may not always be bright, but when it turns a tad more disheartening than usual, it’s as good a time as any to let the musicals play and dance to the classic melodies in your pajamas.
Travelling with kids always means packing a lot of bags and carrying a lot of luggage. Children need proper clothes, toys, and gear, especially if they are very young, and more often than not, mothers neglect their own luggage to make room for everything the kids need when vacationing. But there are at least five pieces of clothing and accessories you must take to feel like a million bucks no matter if you go on a road trip, a city break, a two-week beach resort retreat or a sightseeing tour.
You don’t need to pack much, and you don’t need to take yet another suitcase to host your entire wardrobe, as these five essentials will cover all your styling and fashion needs.
1. A Pair of Nude Summer Sandals
If you plan to walk a lot or to spend lazy days on a beach and fun nights at the hotel’s pool bar, a pair of nude summer sandals is your best friend. Nude flat strappy sandals go with everything you already packed, be it a light white summer dress or a pair of jeans for colder days. Being independent of color schemes and types of clothing (sporty, casual or elegant), your nude sandals will make your legs look longer and thinner. You can wear them while you do some sightseeing, visit parks, and zoos, making a terrific choice if you want to spend a romantic moment (after the kids went to bed) at dinner with your husband.
2. A Little Summer Black Dress
Just like the nude sandals, the little black dress can take you out to dinner, to the beach, to the amusement park, downtown shopping or visiting friends and family. The little black dress is an essential item for any type of trip so you can look forever fresh and stylish according to the occasion or the mood you are in. It can be styled in an elegant manner, a sporty way, or a casual chic one, and it doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage. Pick one that compliments your body type, shape, and features and make sure it has a knee-length so you can wear it in casual or formal contexts.
3. A Pearl Jewelry Piece
When you travel with kids, the last things on your mind are your beloved accessories. You need to pack the kids’ clothes, shoes, games, medicine, and emergency items and so on, especially if you travel in foreign countries. You probably don’t have enough space to pack jewelry, but take one pearl piece with you. Pearls are forever fashionable, timeless pieces that go with anything from jeans and sneakers to little black dresses or comfy overalls. If you pack an elegant white freshwater pearls bracelet, for instance, you won’t need other accessories. Style up a summer dress for a fancy beach resort party or a casual city-break outfit and look stylish and elegant no matter where you go.
4. A Backpack
If you already have a long traveling with kids packing list, don’t even consider taking a purse or different types of bags. Travelling with children requires a backpack to keep at hand everything you need for them and for you as well. Now if you really want to travel in style, take leather or a stylish canvas backpack instead of a sporty one to match your sightseeing, dinner or party outfit. A backpack goes great when road-tripping, but if you left the kids at the hotel’s kids club and entertainment center, and you want to have a nice evening out at the theatre with your husband, the backpack can turn into a stylish accessory if you wear the right clothes.
5. A Summer Hat
This is a practical item which also happens to be a stylish one. Summer usually comes with sun rays and blazing heat so don’t forget to take a cute straw hat or a nice fedora, together with the caps and hats you already prepared for the children. A chic hat can style up an outfit and can be worn even in the evening. Keep yourself safe from sun rays, heat and discomfort and spice up your vacation look without taking up too much space in the family luggage.
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After being cooped up inside all winter, with Spring on the way and lighter nights meaning more time to play out, it’s essential to encourage your kids to get out and about this Spring. We’re so used to children now spending their evenings sat inside playing on their x-box or watching TV that it’s really important to push your children to play outside for their health and fitness. Here’s some top tips to get them back out enjoying the great outdoors:
Get them a new toy
Whether it’s a bike, pair of roller blades or a pro scooter, kids love having something to play outside on and there’s nothing more exciting than showing off your new toy to all of the other kids on the street. Scooters tend to be the most on trend with children of all ages been seen scooting around. Once your kids have their own new transport mode this also opens lots of doors for family bike rides and trips to the park plus it means they’ll be keeping fit and getting in lots of healthy exercise.
Arrange family days out
Going for a walk around a reservoir or heading out for a long walk in the countryside is a great way to be active as a family and the mild spring weather provides the perfect climate. If you’re heading out for the day, why not make up a picnic to enjoy somewhere in the sun for a rest and remember to pack a raincoat in your bag just in case you get caught out by a surprise April shower.
One of the best ways to encourage kids to get outside is to invest in a flying toy. Although some can be dangerous if left unsupervised, traditional toys like Frisbees and kites still provide a lot of fun. If your child is after something more technologically advanced, an electric toy helicopter or plane will perhaps be more impressive but arguably much more expensive.
Whether its games, family walks or something new, hopefully your children won’t need too much encouragement to get out this Spring, but if they have become a little too comfortable with staying indoors these tips and tricks should help you to prise them outdoors to benefit from the fresh air.
We read a lot about preparing for your first child. What equipment will be needed, how to baby-proof the home, how to plan etc. In some respects you might be feeling like a bit of a pro by the time your second child is due. However, there is much less written about preparing for a second child, though this also requires a lot of thinking and planning. Many mums worry about how to prepare their toddler for a new sibling. How will he or she cope with a younger brother or sister? How will you manage to get them both up and dressed each morning? What about meal times?
A Change in Focus
The last time around you were starting from scratch. You didn’t know what baby products to buy, how to prepare your home, how to decorate the nursery or what to expect. This time will be different. You have the knowledge and experience from the last couple of years. You can now change your focus and work out how to incorporate a new little person into the family unit. And if you need a bit of a refresher of preparing for a newborn this article will jog your memory.
Preparing your Toddler
There is no need to tell your toddler straight away. For a toddler, nine months might as well be nine years. Tell them nearer the time when the event will be more immediate. Involve them as much as possible. Ask for their help and involve them in sorting out the nursery or toys.
Enjoy this Time Together
Soon your threesome (or twosome) will be coming to an end. You will have a wonderful addition to the family but the dynamic will change. Make the most of this time together. Celebrate the days when it is just the two or three of you. Plan some special activities you can do as a family.
Prepare in Advance as Much as Possible
This is easier said than done. Try and prepare in advance as much as possible. If you have time, cook and freeze some meals to keep you going for the first few weeks. Accept help. This can be difficult for some people but if there are family and friends around you who are willing and able to help, let them. Listen to these mums talk about their feelings when preparing themselves for their second child.
Bringing the Baby Home
Think carefully about the birth itself and how to handle this with your toddler. When they come to visit you in hospital, remember that they will have missed you. It may be a day or more since they saw you. Make a fuss of them and tell them how much you have missed them.
Try to arrange to take the new baby home together so that you all arrive at the same time.
Include them as much as possible. Allow them to sit with you during feeding. Make sure it is clear to your toddler that there are times just for you and him / her. During these times say openly to the baby that you’re helping your toddler right now.
Above all enjoy these times together. They go so quickly. Cherish the time you have with your toddler and then celebrate the new member of the family when he or she arrives. It can be a challenging time and there will be stresses and strains. But it will also be a beautiful and joyous time. Remember to celebrate that.
As our family grows, we start about moving to a bigger home. A place with a larger garden, more rooms and more space. We think about upscaling and begin the difficult process of choosing a new place to live. But, what if things could be simpler? What if, rather than moving to a bigger place, we made our old home bigger. That’s my advice for you today. Instead of going through the stress of moving, see if you can improve your old home. You might find this a far more enjoyable experience. You’ll be able to craft your home into what you want it to be. So, what are the options for doing this?
The biggest job you can complete when making your home more spacious is an extension that All Professional Remodeling Group, LLC can help you with. Or, you could be adding a new room in your home. You could even be adding a new floor, building on top of your garage. There are numerous possibilities here. You have to decide which one is right for you. The biggest issue about building an extension is to get planning permission. It’s important you get this from your local council before you begin the expansion. If you don’t, you could find yourself breaking the law. This permission usually takes four weeks to two months to be granted. After that, you can move forward with the extension.
Your next step is to decide what you need and want for your extension. For instance, you may need new electricity and water lines. If that’s the case, you will need to hire both an electrician and a plumber. It’s best to get these jobs completed by a professional, even if you are completing the rest of the work by yourself. Also, don’t forget to set a budget for your expansion. These projects can quickly grow out of control.
Of course, if you don’t want the trouble of extending, or you don’t have the room, you can opt for a conversion. One suggestion is to convert the attic into a new bedroom. I suggest you start by cleaning out and getting rid of anything that you are storing in the attic. Once you have done this, you should make sure that the floor is stable is okay to walk on. After that, you can think about how much work needs to be done. Some modern attics are already designed with the possibility as using them for an extra room. Others need a little more work. If you need to raise the ceiling, you might find you have some roofing work that needs doing. Your roof could need a remodel. You can also consider adding other features such as a skylight. Remember, this is going to be someone’s bedroom. You want it to be stunning.
As well as this, when completing a job, you should keep in mind a future sale. While you are not selling right now eventually, you might make the move. A job like this done right can add huge value onto your home.
I hope you have found this information useful. Have fun improving your home.
Moving into a new property can be a very exciting time. The whole family will probably help you on the day, but then you’re left to deal with matters yourself. Settling in is often an issue when you have children. They will feel a little scared to find themselves in a new bedroom at night. There are lots of things you can do to make the transition easier. I’ll give you some helpful advice today that should help to improve the situation. All you have to do is use some common sense and try to make the move seem like an enjoyable experience.
Keep the children away on moving day
Young people can often find change rather stressful. With that in mind, you should get someone else to look after them while you relocate. They will only get bored and frustrated if you keep them around. You can welcome your children into their new home once all the boxes have been delivered. Those of you with a little more cash to spend might buy a premium professional service. Some removals companies will even unpack your items and set the rooms up as you request.
Sort their bedrooms first
It doesn’t matter if your living room and kitchen are sorted during the first week of moving into a new property. However, you’ll need to get the kid’s bedrooms sorted as soon as possible. You want them to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. So, try to keep things the same as they were in your previous home. That way, they will find it easier to fall asleep at night. You can make changes further down the line when you perform alternative renovation work. Until then, you need to ensure your children recognise their bedrooms.
Buy them a new bed
There is nothing quite like falling asleep in a new bed. Experts at John Ryan By Design say the first time you sleep on a new mattress you always get a better night’s sleep. That is very true. So, investing in a new bed frame and mattress for your special little ones could be perfect. The rest of their bedroom will still look the same, and so there is no need to worry. The only difference is they will feel like they’re floating on thin air. Of course, that only lasts for the first few nights while they’re breaking in the new item.
The only other things you need to worry about relate to meal times. You should try to keep the same routine you used at your last property. Make sure you erect your dining room table straight away, so you can still sit down and eat food together. Routines are important to children because they help them to ignore potentially stressful situations. So long as you can keep their minds active, they shouldn’t get too worked up in your new home. Maybe you should involve them in the process of decorating their rooms? Kids love to be creative and a little more independent. Just make sure you’re happy with pictures of Frozen characters on the walls because that’s what they’ll probably want.