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Showing posts from June, 2013

Summer Accessories

I have been busy thinking about sandals for the boys and being the shoe lover I am, I refuse to be left out.  So have been browsing the  Lotus Shoes Website  looking at the  Lotus Sandals . I can no longer get away with high heels and have turned in to a comfort lover in the shoe stakes, but that doesnt mean that I can not look stylish too.  I find that a wedge heel makes for both a great looking sandal, but also means that I can wear it most of the day without my feet getting sore.   Sandal Wish List by mum-themadhouse featuring an orange handbag I also have to say that I love matching sandals with handbags, so had great fun searching for ones to match the sandals I liked best.   I still wear sandals that I bought over 18 years ago and for me the secret is looking after my shoes.  I make sure they are cleaned, resoled and healed as required and regularly polished.  I also put them away with newspaper inside over the winter.

The best shoes for Children for Summer

Soon school will be out for summer and I am currently busy looking for shoes that will see the boys thought out summer and fulfill all their needs. Any shoes I buy for the boys need to see them through the whole summer and be able to survive their various activities, which include football, scooting, cycling, climbing trees, going to the beach, visits to the moors, becks and be conformable. I know that this might be the holy grail of shoes, but it doesn't stop me looking.  I have to say my current favorite are Keen Footwear  from the Jellyegg  Website . These are my current favorites, the  KEEN Kids Newport H2 Carnelian sandal.  I love the fact they are a sandal.  The boys wear leather school shoes all year and I think that it is nice to give your feet some time to breath.  However, normally sandal are not the  practical  option as they do not protect their toes and are pants for football.  But KEEN have   KEEN Patented Toe Protection where the shoe outsoles wrap up

Families and banks

If there are two things that require a lot of time, energy and attention, it's families and finances. Money is a very confusing matter at times, whilst raising a family presents its own challenges and time-consuming tasks. So, when you have a family to look after and the other associated aspects of children, what do you need to keep in mind? Here are a few things to consider when supporting a family and balancing a bank account. Accounts Of course, you're going to want an account that lets you save money. There is quite a wide choice and you can get a close look at savings accounts at Money Vista . For an active parent an instant access account may prove more beneficial, for instance, since you never know when you might need to make a withdrawal. These accounts can also be useful for children when they start getting money. Instant access can prove useful again but a simple savings account can ensure they start to collect interest and money over the years. Banki

Bedtime Routines

I have blogged about the fact that we had had bumpy times in the past with bedtimes with Mini.  Thankfully we have had help and our bedtimes are a much happier time. Fairy non-bio has just released some research which I found really interesting.   After speaking with 1,000 mums with children aged 0-7, they  found the following: •           Even as dads get more involved in parenting, bedtime is still mums domain, with 51% of mums in charge of bedtime each night compared to just 15% of dads •           Working mums prioritise bed time, although 61% said that bedtime happens later once they returned to work and 16% are skipping bath time to fit it all in •           8 of 10 mums read to their children nightly – 4 out of 10 (37%) of children prefer new stories, with 2 out of 10 (22%) opting for the same stories that were read to their mums and dads. •           A lucky 35% of mums say their child tends to settle down quickly and easily most nights, while another 43 % say

Magpie Monday - Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Mirror, mirror, please don't fall. I live in a modern house, you know the type - walls made out of cardboard where you panic when you hang anything heavier than a postcard! However, I fell in love with this mirror in the charity shop, especially when I saw that it was only £10, but I didn't know if I could hang it on my walls. Well MadDad  and I located a wooden beam upstairs on the landing and we decided to take the chance. I am so glad we did.  A week later and it is still hanging in my little house made out of ticky tacky.

FREE wine

Yes, free wine.  Have I got your attention now?  Interested?  Then read on. Tesco are introducing a new way to buy wine Tesco Wine Co-Buys .  Putting it very simply the more people buy the cheaper it becomes.  But even better the person that introduces the most other people to a co-buy gets their wine for free! Want to know more, well this short video explains it really well. MadDad has a real eye for a nice red wine.  He doesn't have many vices, but does love the occasional red. So this is something that really appealed to him. The key points are: The more people that join in the co-buy the cheaper the price will be Co-buys only last for a limited period, so make sure that you sign up for alerts and share the information. The person that introduces the most buyers has the chance to get their wine for free Can not see the right wine for you, then suggest one for Tesco to source  There is a £1 refundable joining fee to confirm your age Everyone loves a bargain

10 tips to make the most of Mid Season Sales

In theory Summer is upon us, however, in practice I am no longer sure that there is such a thing in the UK any more! One of the ways that I ensure that my money goes as far as it can is to always buy the boys clothes in the sales, often the year previously. So how do you make the most of the mid season sales which are soon upon us: If you have a favorite brand, then make sure you know when their  clothes sale starts.  Often it pays to sign up to newsletters for favorite stores (using a separate email address to your regular one) so that you can find out this information or I have even been known to email the company!  Do a clothes audit for everyone.  I make sure that I regularly clear out the boys wardrobes so I am aware  of what they need.  I also have a list of clothes in the next size that I fill in whenever  I buy something that size. Know your sizing - Do the clothes run true to size or small.  Check out the online reviews to make sure you get the correct si

Top 5 Car Maintenance Mistakes

Top tips on looking out for your automobile’s health Our cars are, for many people in the UK, one of the most expensive – and prized – possessions available to own. Not only do they require a lot of money to be purchased in the first place, they also require attention and presence of mind afterwards. Whilst car maintenance is not half the struggle it used to be – when oiling, lubing and tuning up was an almost constant cycle of events to keep your motor on the road – it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have half an eye on the health of your car. There is no doubt that you can get by with fewer trips to the garage – but there remain a few key helpers which can ensure your car doesn’t wear down or burn out too soon. If you have specific concerns – or activities – which you undertake with your car, you might be interested in taking out a tailored insurance policy, such as the policies offered by Allianz Your Cover ( )  – this allows you to add specific

Scrap Art Book Marks - perfect for Fathers Day

This is a super way of recycling and making purposeful bits of art that the children have done.  For ours I used our   Mable Paintings. Materials Card Scissors or paper cutter Artwork Paper Glue  Laminator or clear sticky backed plastic (also known as contact paper) Method Cut and matt the scrap artwork and your choice or card, making sure that the artwork is slightly smaller than the card backing and glue on. We made a back for the bookmark out of paper, which read Happy Father’s Day and then mini decorated it and stuck it on to the rear of the bookmark. I then laminated them, I got four into one pouch leaving space for the sheet to adhere between the bookmarks.  If you don't have a laminator, then you can use clear sticky backed plastic or contact paper.  I then used my guillotine to cut them up to individual double sided bookmarks.

Saving money and helping charities with voucher codes

I'm always looking for new ways to keep expenses to an absolute minimum, so when there's an opportunity to save cash on my shopping I'll jump at it. Since online shopping has become more popular, voucher codes have been popping up all over the place, helping consumers save anything from a couple of quid on their groceries to hundreds of pounds on their summer holiday. Using coupons was once looked down upon, but with internet shopping offering more in the way of anonymity, they have soared in popularity again. All the voucher codes and offers on My Favourite Voucher Codes are free to use. They earn money by taking a small commission of every transaction made through the website, paid by the retailers, not the customer. Gift to charity by saving money My Favourite Voucher Codes is a relatively new website as it's only been going for just over a year, but it already stands out from the crowd. One of the unique things about this particular site is

Summer Financial Manifesto 2013

Aha, before I share my summer financial manifesto, I need to let you know how I managed with the Spring goals and aims..................... Declutter in the hope of doing a couple of car boot sales once they start again after Easter - T he weather has been terrible, so I am doing the boot sale in the summer! Look for a part time job whilst the boys are in school - I keep looking, it seems to be the Holy Grail!  Check out car insurances as out policies are due for renewal - We did this and remained with our current provider as they were the lest expensive.  Hold a budget friendly birthday party for Maxi who turns eight - We did manage this.   Make not buy cards.  In addition to Maxi's birthday we have mothers day and our wedding anniversary in March.  I have lots of craft things, so me and the boys are going to have a card making session - We have not bought a card all spring.  Will be making fathers day cards too  Arrange to have the boiler serviced - failed with this, so w

The old sits comfortably with the new in Egypt

It's an eye opener, a different kind of country in terms of culture and history. Little wonder millions of people from all around the world visit Egypt every year, drawn to its glorious 6,000 years of civilisation. From the modern, bustling, fast-paced capital city Cairo to the sombre, reflective, ancient atmosphere of the Valley of the Kings, Egypt simply fascinates. The old sits comfortably with the new. It's simply the way it is. But don't be fooled for a minute. Egypt's eye on the past is firmly rooted in today's world. Its slick presentation of past glories converts easily into hard cash, adding much-needed foreign currency vital to the well-being of its hard-pressed economy. With all the pessimism surrounding the January 2011 revolution and its well-documented aftermath, tourism continues to be the beacon of light that it's always been. But it's not only tourists who visit Egypt.

Entertaining the whole family on holiday in Mexico

Mexico is a truly remarkable country with so many great things to see and do. There are a number of really exciting cities to explore and this can be especially fun if you’re on a holiday with your family, because Mexicans certainly know how to cater for everyone! Here’s a quick guide to  great family holidays to Mexico . Cancun is a gorgeous city on the southeast coast of Mexico. Set on the Caribbean Sea, it’s not surprising that Cancun has, over the years, become a major tourist hotspot. The beaches are second to none, with powdery white sands and warm blue seas that will leave you feeling like you’ve spent the day in paradise. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll no doubt love spending time in and around the water, and Cancun has a fantastic range of water sports available. There are at least 25 different water sports centres, all of which make a conscious effort to keep their pollution levels as low as possible to avoid damaging the environment. The  Interactive Can