If you’re thinking of going on a cruise holiday with the family, you’ll probably be wondering whether it’s really safe to take kids along with you. Well, we can tell you that it’s definitely safe – in fact, cruise lines have been trying very hard to attract families by teaming up with certain children’s TV channels like Nickelodeon, and are offering parents the chance to bring their kids along for free!
There are so many things for kids to do on a cruise. There are both kid’s and teen’s clubs, video arcades, waterslides, outdoor movies, basketball, and more! However, although taking kids on a cruise holiday is safe, there is a downside. More and more kids are boarding cruise ships, especially during the school holidays…for a couple wanting to take a romantic getaway, they may find themselves on a ship with thousands of children. While many of these kids will be playing in the arcades or spending time with their families, there has been talk of children roaming the hallways alone, taking over the hot tubs, and causing havoc for older cruisers.
Many cruise ships handle the influx of children very well, but this doesn’t stop some cruisers who aren’t too keen on children saying that they’re never going back during the school holidays. If you want to go on a cruise with the whole family, then taking your kids could be a wonderful idea – just beware that there will be hundreds of other kids there too, and you might not get any peace for the duration. Saying that, you’ll all still have a wonderful time.
Of course, there’s a chance your kids won’t appreciate the cruise as much as they should – they’ll be a ton of amazing sites/places to see, but will they really appreciate the experience? Unless there are a lot of amenities on board the ship for them, they could get bored. Take a look here for some cruises you and your children could be interested in.
If you do decide to take the whole family on a cruise holiday, rest assured that it’s very safe. The only thing we’ll say is, make sure you keep them under control. Kids should not be left to run amok in the corridors, allowed to cannonball in the jacuzzi, or be rude to older cruisers. We advise that you know where your kids are and what they are doing at all times, by checking on them and asking them to check in with you every so often. You don’t want them to wreak havoc on the ship while you sunbathe on the deck, blissfully unaware of what’s going on. Plus, while it’ll be nice for the parents to relax and the kids to go and play for a while, what’s the point in going on a cruise holiday as a family if you don’t plan on spending time together as a family?
There are many pros and cons to cruising with kids, so weigh them up and decide whether it’s worth bringing the kids along!
The concept of ‘fancy dress’ has been around for a long time, centuries in fact. You can go back as far as the 18th century where, in the UK, masked balls were very popular. This started the fancy dress concept. Even children got involved in these masked balls in ye old United Kingdom, so it has been a part of growing up for years.
Fancy dress gained more widespread popularity in the 1940s, and they really began to gain momentum in the 1970s where costumes became more readily available.
But, why is fancy dress so important for children?
As we have all grown up, we have all probably tried to use our imagination and dress up. It may be denied, but most boys would have tried on some of their mothers clothes at some point.
Getting your children into a fancy dress costumes can give really benefit their social and emotional development. Using their imagination as a starting point allows them to interact and engage with other children, as well as having the confidence to speak to adults, and that includes Mum and Dad.
If you have a little girl, she may want to dress up in the latest Disney Princess character, which is great. The Disney Princess is what most girls want to be, especially when they are young, consider Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel or Tinkerbell (even though she is not technically a Disney Princess).
A little boy may want to dress up as a Pirate, such as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean or a Superhero such as Batman, Spiderman or the Hulk.
(image from Flickr: Stijlfoto)
What is important here is that they dress up in something that encourages their imagination, but do not just stick to stereotypes. Giving your children the means to dress up in something other than this has the potential to do wonders for them, check out hollywood.uk.com to see if you can find their hero.
Fancy dress encourages children’s social side and provides a perfect ice-breaker helping your child build relationships from an early stage. Fancy dress can also help children overcome any shyness they may have around others, it also forms a platform for compliments to be made, giving children the confidence they sometimes need.
Fancy dress also helps children develop emotionally, being a channel where children can freely express themselves. It also helps children communicate with others, and by playing the characters that they love they learn control their emotional responses.
Fancy dress helps children develop their imagination. This is becoming more, and more important. With some many computer games, phones, tablets, computers, television and films available to young children, where these things can really harm their imagination development, fancy dress can help bring their inner child out.
Even though computer games, phones, tablets, computers, television and films can harm children’s imagination, it can also enhance it if used right. Fancy dress can be used as an extension of their favourite film, television show or video game. They can also be used as an extension of a book. It is important that combinations of these mediums are used to bring their favourite character to life.
You wouldn’t believe just how in tune with us our dogs are. As you’ve been pregnant for 9 months or so, he probably already knows that something around the home is changing. However, just because he’s picked up something new in the air, doesn’t mean he understands what’s going on. You need to prepare your dog for the arrival, and introduce your new arrival to him properly to help him come to terms with the change. Here’s a guide to safely introducing your dog to your new baby:
Photo Author: Flickr
Focus on Leadership
The 9 months in which you are pregnant is more than enough time to smooth out any naughty behaviour and establish yourself as the pack leader. It might take some hard work, but you’ll be glad you did it when the baby comes.
Be Aware of Your Own Energy
A pregnancy will affect the whole household. Your dog will mirror your emotions, whether you feel worried, anxious, or excited so beware of your own energy.
Bring Your Baby’s Scent
Before bringing home the baby, bring home an item from the hospital with the baby’s scent on. This is the exercise where you need to set clear boundaries. To create respect for the baby, you need to get your dog to sniff the item from a distance rather than close up. This sends a message that the item belongs to you and the dog needs to be careful.
At first, you shouldn’t let your dog inside the nursery at all. Then, you can let the dog in to explore and sniff with your supervision. You must always decide when it’s time for the dog to leave the room. You should do this a couple of times before the baby comes.
Keep the Introduction Controlled
Start off by draining your dogs energy by taking him on a very long walk. Before you come back, make sure you dog is calm and submissive. Your dog will know the second they enter the room that there’s a new scent in the house. Whoever is holding the baby needs to be totally calm. Don’t bring the baby too close during this first meeting. You need to teach the dog to treat your baby as another pack leader.
Teach Your Baby
As your baby grows and gets more curious, you should always supervise interaction between them and the dog. You don’t want your child to accidentally aggravate the dog, for example by touching his wuffitmix dog food, so be careful and teach your baby to be nice to the dog.
Don’t Forget About the Dog
Your dog needs to have their usual routine to feel secure. You need to be a consistent leader and take them for daily walks as normal, so they feel safe – you don’t necessarily need toys or to give them special attention!
Your baby’s safety should always come first, and if at any point you feel uneasy about the dog around your baby, you may need to consider finding the dog a new home as an option. Do your best to maintain position as pack leader and this shouldn’t have to happen.
The family car sector is big business for the motor industry, with leading global manufacturers competing for the chance to sell the best and most-popular models to parents all over the world! As you can probably imagine, there is a plethora of different models for mums and dads everywhere to choose from, ranging from frugal hatchbacks to luxurious motorway stormers.
But did you know that a lot of parents end up buying the wrong cars for their needs, because they have not remembered (or weren’t aware of) the golden rules to buying a family car? If you are planning on buying a family-oriented car soon, make sure you take the following points on board before you part with your money – otherwise you could end up making a costly mistake!
The importance of having the perfect (car) body
One of the biggest epic fails that a lot of parents make is buying a car with the wrong body style:
Saloon cars are good for families with children that do not need prams, as the boots of such cars are rather inflexible and limited on space;
Hatchback cars are popular for parents with growing families, and make it easy to load cargo in the boot and in the back of the car;
Estate cars are more difficult to park but provide the ultimate amount of cargo and cabin space, especially if you have to transport pets at the same time.
Avoid three-door cars like the plague
Have you ever had to regularly get a baby in and out of the back of a three-door car? It’s a rather stressful experience, and one that should be avoided at all costs! Whatever car you buy, make sure that it has five doors instead of three.
Some larger vehicles, such as the Ford S-Max, have large doors which offer the most amount of flexibility for getting babies and baby paraphernalia out of the car.
Luxury cars can be affordable family cars too
There is a common misconception that the more-luxurious vehicles on the market such as Mercedes cars are typically expensive and completely out of reach for the average Vauxhall Astra driver, for example, but they can still be bought – as long as you are willing to limit yourself to only used models!
To be honest, I wouldn’t buy a brand new car anyway because of the depreciation hit that I’d have to take, but for those that don’t want to experience the joys of diagnosing strange noises, sounds and smells from mature cars, you could buy nearly-new models as they will save you thousands off the list price of new ones.
Make sure you can disable the passenger airbag
Unbeknownst to many people is the fact that not all cars offer you the ability to put your baby at the front of the car with you. Therefore, when researching what family cars to put on your shortlist, make sure that they offer you the ability to disable the front passenger airbag when you’ve got your baby on board and acting as your co-pilot!
Collaboration with US Mechanics EDU
In today’s busy world we are lucky if we get five minutes to ourselves. As a Mom it is even harder. Take the kids to school, go to work, pick the kids up, do dinner, rush, rush and rush.
Certain household work, like cleaning, is very time consuming. How are you supposed to find the time to do it?
Well, help is at hand. Here are seven cleaning tips that are guaranteed to save you time, allowing you to make time for other, more important things in your life.
You are attempting to clean your house in a day? Let us be completely realistic. You will not be able to do it all. Instead set some realistic goals.
It helps being organised, so try and make a list at the start of every week. Write down what cleaning you want to do, and pick a couple of things from that list each day. Remember to make it manageable. A lot of this depends on the size of your list. The trick is to be realistic, and do little and often.
Get rid of clutter
Is your home messy or dirty? If it is just messy you may want to consider opening a big black bag and tossing things in there you don’t want, need or use.
You may have clothes you no longer use, or kids toys that are no longer played with. Get rid of them to make your cleaning load lighter and provide a better room to relax in.
Clean as you go
A simple, yet effective, tip to save time during your deep clean. Place packs of anti-bacterial wipes around the house, in the kitchen, bathroom or other room that require them. Then just wipe down as you go.
This way, your home will stay fresh and clean every day.
Deep clean time
This will happen at some point, whether you choose to do it weekly, monthly or every season.
If you choose to do this monthly, instead of doing it all together and trying to tackle the whole house in a day, try picking a room each week and spreading out the work.
You may think this is a little old fashioned, but it works.
The tip here is to buy a feather duster with real feathers, as they attract dust. If you happen to get one with faux feathers, these will just distribute dust around the house.
Again, the trick here is to do little and often. Rather than trying to do all your washing in a day, and failing, spread the load.
As you know, it is not just the washing element, it is having the space to dry your laundry too.
Sometimes you are just too busy to do the cleaning yourself, so hiring a cleaning services company may be just what you need.
Depending on your own circumstances it could actually be better for you and your family. Freeing up your time so you can do exactly what you want, when you want.
I’m recently married. Yay!
I would love to say the day went smoothly, without a single hiccup along the way. However, if I did say this I would be lying.
It was the happiest day of my life however, being the budding bride with so much to do and organise, a few things slipped through the net. I was too busy fantasising about tucking into the Fantasia Cakes I had ordered for the reception, that important things were pushed to the back of my priorities list! So, I’m sharing what I forgot to plan to help those you may forget themselves.
Here is what I forgot to plan:
Even though these aren’t technically ‘required’, they seem to be a mainstay of most weddings, certainly the ones I’ve been to. And yes, I forgot to even contemplate buying our guests a ‘thank you’ for coming gift.
If you’re thinking about buying wedding favors then you should do this about two months before your big day. There are lots of things to choose from, the most important part is that the wedding favour reflects you as a couple. You can even personalise most wedding favors by adding your names, your wedding date, or even the names of your guests.
I’m positive this item is overlooked on a regular basis, and it is not just me who has forgotten this. Don’t worry I still have plenty of memories, photographs and other items that help me remember my big day.
Normally signed by your guests during the reception, the Guestbook is normally filled with well wishes and tides of happiness. This really shouldn’t be overlooked. You can pick up a variety of different Guestbook styles from a number of retailers. I would recommend that you pick one of these up one month before your big day. Try and categories these items so it’s easy for you to remember.
Notice for Marriage
A slight oversight on my behalf, yet quite a significant one. If this isn’t done before your big day, you won’t be getting married. It is that simple.
A marriage notice, or licence, is available from your local council offices. It is a straight-forward process that every couple requires, by law, to go through before their big day. This Notice of Marriage lasts 12 months, so you have plenty of time to get this organised.
The Nights Entertainment
When I booked the evening reception at one of our local venues, I forgot to organise the entertainment. I thought I booked a DJ, I was wrong. Luckily some of our guests played guitar very well.
When booking any entertainment I recommend doing this at the same time as you book the venue, just so that part of your special day is booked together and goes off without a hitch.
Thank You Card
I am such a bad person. I completely forgot to send out Thank You card to our guests after our big day.
I would recommend buying these before, just so you have them and they are at the forefront of your mind when you come back off your honeymoon.
I am pleased to say that our guests have now received a Thank You card, even though it is a little belated.
I hope my experience can help you avoid some of these traumas.
The most important thing is that you enjoy your day, and the rest of your life together.
It is a common conception that Grey hair is considered unflattering, can make women look older and give the impression of ‘I don’t care attitude towards her appearance’. For women, greying hair often occurs when they are undergoing significant physical changes, such as the menopause; therefore the need to cover the grey hairs becomes a very emotive issue. However, anyone can start going grey at a relatively young age but usually grey hairs begin appearing in your mid 20’s developing throughout the next years so that in your 40’s you may have the inclination to cover your grey hair.
It is best to start covering grey hairs as soon as possible so you can’t be tempted to pull a single grey hair out! By succumbing to the urge of pulling out the grey hairs you can traumatise your roots which will either encourage courser and thicker hair to grow or no hair to grow. It is a myth that pulling out one grey hair causes two new ones to grow in its place, however, traumatic alopecia (baldness) is a very common issue that can occur due to the root trauma.
Grey hair naturally has a different texture to non-grey hairs, which makes colouring and styling harder. However, it can be done successfully. One way to hide your greying hair is to style your hair differently to cover the grey hair at your temples, which will create a more flattering look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a textured fringe or sides just because you have always worn your hair up and away from your face.
If you are inclined to colour your grey hair do you go to a salon or home? Millions of women have had success with colouring their hair at home. Here are 6 golden rules for home colouring:
- No Peroxide. If you don’t want to damage your hair at all then steer clear of hair colouring products that contain peroxide. Although peroxide is an effective hair lightener it is harmful for your hair. Daniel Field hair colour is the only non-peroxide, non-ammonia permanent hair colour for greying hair.
- If a hair colouring product containing peroxide claims it has “special conditioners and benefits” you should take it with a pinch of salt. The cosmetic shine created by these colourants is only cosmetic – the shine lasts up to 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks you are left with (to some degree) structurally damaged hair.
- Don’t go too dark! Be aware that as you get older your skin gets paler – so choose hair colour shades that are no more than one shade darker than your natural hair colour.
- Be subtle. The idea of colouring your grey hair is to ensure that no one notices, so be subtle with your colouring and stick to shades as close to your natural hair colour base as possible.
- Grey hair only suits women who have the correct combination skin tone (neutral skin) and eye colouring (grey/blue) and look good in blues, lilacs, greys and pinks.
Choose appropriately to your budget. Full head colouring gets more expensive the more your chosen hair colour is from your natural hair colour. If you have 100% grey hair coverage, the darker the hair colour you choose the greater the re-growth. Also if your hair is still quite brown and you want to go lighter than this will be very high maintenance! If you are a busy person, on a budget or travel a lot than it is advised for you to stick to your natural colour.
Article written by Daniel Field Mail Order – we are passionate about our natural hair products, suitable for vegans, all designed and created by professional hairdresser, Daniel Field. Our natural hair colours are free from ammonia, peroxide, alcohol and PPDs.
Everyone needs to be able to keep warm in winter but how do you keep your home warm in the colder months? Many Australian homes are designed for the hot climate and it can be hard to keep your home warm without spending a small fortune on energy bills.
Here are 5 ideas to help you do just that.
Install a Wood Fire Heater
Wood heaters are a cosy source of radiant heat and make spending evenings indoor highly enjoyable. There is a wide range of wood heaters available so you will find something to suit your needs. Barbeques Galore have a great range of sizes and styles to suit most spaces.
When deciding which wood heater to buy it is a good idea to talk to the retailer about the size of the space you wish to heat. Ask for advice on what size heater you will need and choose one you find aesthetically pleasing. It’s not a good idea to buy a wood heater that is larger than your needs as you will use more fuel than necessary to heat your space. You will also need to clean your wood heater out from time to time to remove ash and charcoal, so it’s best to get one the right size for your room to avoid unnecessary cleaning.
A wood heater will add to the interior design of your home and should be placed in your most used area, usually the living room. A wood heater will often really enhance the ambience of a room and encourage families to relax and enjoy sitting around the firetogether.
Keep the Heat in with Curtains
Glass windows will allow the heat to escape from inside and will also let the outside cold in. Up to 40 per cent of household heat can escape through uncovered windows, so it’s a good idea to hang reasonably heavy curtains for the cold months.
Insulation is a must if you want to save energy keeping your house both warm and cool. If a house is correctly insulated you will save significantly on power costs for heating and cooling.
Seal up the Cracks
Cracks and gaps, including gaps under doors, can be responsible for a whopping 25 per cent heat loss in your home. Use weather stripping around doors and windows and a gap filler to seal any cracks in the walls. An old fashioned door snake will keep the cold from escaping under the door.
Also, close off any rooms that you aren’t using. If you have your wood fire burning in the living room, close off empty rooms to keep the heat in the area of the house you are using.
Let the Sun Shine In
During the day let us much sun into your home as you can. Open the curtains wide and let the sun shine in to warm your home. Remember to close curtains and seal off gaps before dark sets in.
Getting a good start in life involves getting a good education, and what better way to thank the ones that have had the most impact in your child’s life than giving them a little gift.
Over the last few years this has become a trend, more and more parents are prepared to give a gift to their child’s teacher.
However, according to reports, some parents are taking this too far, spending more and more money on gifts for teachers in an attempt to outdo each other. This takes competitive parenting to a whole new level. In a survey conducted by UK parenting website Netmums, parents are spending, on average, £10 on a gift, while the number of parents spending more than £20 has increased by more than 50%.
Putting all this aside, when my Daughter finished her school year I felt it important to buy her teacher a gift, as a thank you for teaching her this year.
Here are five things that you may want to consider buying as gifts for teachers:
The usual suspects: Flowers
Although a little predictable, a bunch of flowers with a card would make a nice surprise gift for any teacher. To make it a little more personal, try and find out what the teacher’s favourite flowers are. I’m sure if you were to receive a gift, this amount of thought would go a long way.
The supporting act: Chocolates
Like flowers, chocolates can also make a great gift. Again, try and make it personal and find out what the teacher likes.
A little something of everything: The Hamper
There’s much to be said about a hamper. Of course you can by one from your local supermarket, but the best hampers are always personalised to the recipient, with plenty of thought but in to the contents of it. Again, research plays a big part in getting the hamper just right for the teacher. Find out what biscuits or sweets they like, what they enjoy to drink, maybe even go as far as finding out their favourite author or magazine. Also, try and think about what you would like to receive in a hamper. Would you like some bath salts or oils, hand cream or a face mask? I’m sure you’d appreciate; teachers would love the time to relax too.
Vouch for something special: Vouchers
If you don’t know your child’s teacher that well, vouchers can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Think about vouchers for stores that stock a little bit of everything, maybe a Walmart or other department store. A voucher may not be as personal as other gifts, but it will be warmly received and hugely appreciated just the same.
Subscribe to success: The Magazine Subscription
Again, you don’t need to know your child’s teacher that well to get them something that they will love. If your child’s teacher teaches a particular subject, have a look at what specific, or more niche magazine titles that they could subscribe to, and purchase a 6 or 12 months subscription for them. Alternatively, you could buy them a subscription to a more general lifestyle magazine.
Hopefully this will give you some great ideas.
When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!
But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.
Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!
Have you got what it takes?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:
- Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
- Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
- Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.
One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.
Preparing for the big day
When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.
Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.
In a hurry to pass?
Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.
This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.