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Showing posts from April, 2014

How to get your kids to do household chores

Children these days would rather spend most of their time online on social networks or playing videogames that helping their parents to clean the house. Fortunately for you, there are a couple of things that you can do to actually make your kids do their share of chores, so see below for some tried and tested ways to get the kids to help out around the house. Make them feel that they are helping save Mother Nature At a young age, children need to know the importance of helping the environment. This includes washing the dishes with a dishwasher that is  energy efficient and environmentally friendly . Explain to your young ones that such a straightforward task can go a very long way when it comes to preventing greenhouse emissions, water wastage, fossil fuel depletion, and so much more! Use another term besides “chore” The term “chore” has always had a negative connotation attached to it. For this reason, try to use a different and more engaging term instead. Y

Growing your own vegetables with kids

We have been growing our own vegetables with the boys for the last six years.  In fact this Easter weekend MadDad had to replace some of the boards on the raised beds he made over six years ago. We have a standard back garden, but we have made room in it to have three raised beds and two oak barrels.  We also have various pots and planters which we grow in too. I am going to share with you our secrets, hints and tips over the coming months. What we are growing this year: Bed one - New potatoes (planted this weekend) Bed two - Carrots, beans (to be planted) Bed three - cauliflowers and cabbage (to be planted) oak barrels - peas (to be planted) planters - lettuce and shallots (planted) tomatoes (to be planted) Hanging baskets - Strawberries (to be planted) MadDad is also going to build a new bed and relocate the compost basket. Do you grow with your kids?

Tips for the family budget

Families often find it difficult to maintain healthy spending habits with the multiple needs and costs that are necessary within the household. Between car payments to health insurance, there are several expenses that can make it difficult to thrive or avoid living paycheck to paycheck. For those wanting to follow a family budget, there are several tips available to ensure that you remain organized and prevent overspending each month. Visit Price-Comparison Websites Several different price-comparison websites have begun to increase in popularity for a convenient way of shopping around online and finding the best deal. Whether looking for a new carseat or trying to find a designer handbag, the websites work in your favor by doing the homework and providing the most inexpensive websites to purchase the goods with both tax and shipping factored in. Pay with Cash Multiple studies have proven that using credit or debit cards often leads to spending at least 9 percent more.

Ten fast ways to save on your energy costs and one way to heat your home more efficiently

After our mortgage and council tax our home heating and fuel costs are the next largest outgoing.  So it makes sense to me to try and reduce this spend as much as I can.     In the UK over 1.6 million children live in fuel poverty ( where families spend more than 10% of their income on fuel).  When you are spending this much of your income or any amount of your income on heating your home it pays to think smart and Evohome is the smarter way to control your home heating. Evohome works by splitting your home into zones and giving you the control over each of those zones.  For example if you work from home and have a home office you could have that as one zone and only heat that during the day rather than your whole house. This video explains it really well:   As a work from home mum it would make real sense for me to zone my home in to Kitchen, living areas, boys rooms, my bedroom and my office.  The boys goes to bed at 8pm so their rooms would only need heating for

Make The Most Of Your Time With Your Kids: How To Organise Your Schedule

As soon as you have kids, it might feel like you never have five minutes to yourself; especially if you’re a working, single parent. You have to juggle your day job with childcare, school, clubs, activities, cleaning, cooking, and general upkeep of the kids. And all that’s before you get to have a social life of your own. Is there a way that you can organise your schedule better, to make the most of your time with your kids? Let’s find out. Prioritise Talk to your kids and assess what’s important to everyone. Do you need a few hours on Friday night to hang out with your friends (to maintain your sanity)? Does your youngest passionately love her piano lessons? Keep what matters, but cut-down on time-consuming excesses, such as multiple clubs after school and trips into town. Discuss this with your children, before you make any decisions. Explain that you’re trying to free up your schedule, so you can spend some time together as a family, and that you can’t do that if your

Blackpool for Kids: What’s Brilliant?

It can be hard to keep the kids happy and occupied during the school holidays, but the promise of a trip out for the day or an overnight stay can certainly help to smooth over any arguments, tantrums or cries of ‘I’m bored’. Dangle the promise of a trip to Blackpool in front of your brood and you might just find that behaviour in the weeks before dramatically improves! Give them an added incentive by pointing out these brilliant things that are going on your Blackpool ‘to do’ list: Nickelodeon Land If your kids love Nickelodeon then they’ll be in their element in the all new Nick Land at the Pleasure Beach. Designed for younger thrill-seekers, you’ll find rides to suit all ages, themed on the best Nick and Nick Jr shows. The kids will also get to see their favourite characters including the cast of Spongebob, Dora and Diego, The Rugrats and The Backyardigans. The Pleasure Beach The Pleasure Beach itself is brilliant for all ages, with big thrill rides like

Rugs in children’s rooms and play areas can be so much more than simply ‘looking pretty’

Rugs are a versatile addition to any room; they add warmth and character in any cases, with many opting for rugs as an addition that will add a much needed slash of colour. We are all used to seeing rugs in hall ways, or in front of fires adding a cosy element to a room. Technology and manufacturing techniques have come on leaps and bounds meaning that many people can now have rugs in any room of the house! The purchase of some rugs need careful consideration especially when looking to add rugs in certain areas where we require them to do more than one functions. Rugs for children’s bedrooms and play areas is one such place. Seen for many years as a tripping hazard, many people are once again recognising the brilliance of a rug for children but as with all aspects of interior design, there are pros and cons to using rugs. Style There are so many stylish rugs to choose from that it can seem an impossible choice! There are patterns galore and rugs awash with colour but yo

Aldi's Dishwasher and Laundry Tablets

Did you know that Aldi’s dishwasher and laundry tablets have just won best buys in tests by consumer watchdog Which? I have to admit that I am a weekly Aldi shopper and use Aldi's dishwasher tablets, but I love the fact that they are endorsed by Which.  The Aldi Magnum all in one is £3.99 for 40 tablets which makes it 10p a wash and I can vouch than in our hotpoint dishwasher they do a really good job. I had never used the Aldi Almat washing gel caps before this, but they managed the boys muddy clothes really well, but more than that they didn't irritate Maxi's eczema prone skin.    The liquid sachets are £2.99 for 20 washes, around 15p per wash and come in non bio, bio and colour. What are your top buys from Aldi? 

Rainbow Looms - We love them

Have you heard about the new craze of Rainbow Looms.  I had heard about it on some of the US blogs that I read and decided to buy one for my niece birthday which is coming up. However, Maxi came home from school a couple of weeks ago with a bracket he had made on his friends loom at golden time at school, so I decided to surprise him with the loom and we have been making ever since. So those not in the know Rainbow looms are small looms that you thread with small colourful elastic bands to make bracelets, rings, necklaces and pretty much anything  and everything else. You do not need to have a loom and you can use your fingers to make the simplest bracelets, which is how Maxi started. We started with the kit below, which came with 600 latex free rubber bands, a loom, a hook  and mini loom and clips.  The instructions were simple to follow too. We then topped up with the following kit, which comes with a loom, hook, over 3600 bands and lots of other accessories.  This

A Super Hero Decorated Egg for Easter

We adore easter and both my boys love decorating Easter eggs,  This is one that MIni Made with very little parental input.  Materials: Hard Boiled egg Craft foam Felt Green Paper How to: Mini cut out the F and the arm shaped from the craft foam - he drew the shapes he wanted on to it first. He then cut some felt to make the outfit stuck it to the egg. He cut green paper to a mask shape and glued it on to the egg and then stuck the foam F and arms on to the egg. What you can not see is the egg has a foal cale at the back too!