Friday, 23 August 2019

6 Ways to Enjoy Family Time without Breaking the Bank

Anyone who has a family knows how expensive it can be to spend some quality time together. This is especially true for parents with 2, 3 or more children. But with some smart thinking there are still plenty of fun things you can do as a family without have to spend a fortune.

We’ve brainstormed some great ideas to show you 6 ways to enjoy family time without breaking the bank.



1. Go for a picnic

There are more than 27,000 parks of all shapes and sizes in the UK. That means no matter where you live there is one close by you can use to go and enjoy a lovely family picnic. Packed lunches are cheap and you can play lots of games with the children that will burn off their energy. Go for walks on trails and bring your smartphone along to take some treasured family pictures. 



2. Finding the money

Raising a family is expensive, especially if you are a single parent or on a low income. You might want to consider taking out a short term loan as way to fund your family time. Make sure you can afford the repayments and ensure the company is FCA registered. Also get the best interest rates and if you are successful, you’ll soon be able to enjoy all the fun activities you have planned. 



3. Make a family movie

Instead of spending time plonked down on the sofa watching another DVD, how about making a film starring the family? You’ll probably own a smartphone with a camera, and it’s a great opportunity for everyone to dress up in character and pretend play. Get mum’s make-up out and make it a silly fantasy story and everyone will have a great time watching it back later on.




4. Do free fun stuff

There is always pressure to take kids to expensive theme parks that cost way too much, but there are also literally thousands of free things to do all around the country. Check out websites like Hoop, which lists all the free family activities close to you that are available for kids of all ages. Simply put in your postcode and your children’s age and it will fire back a list as long as your arm!




5. Let the kids splash about

If you or any of your fellow parent friends have a garden, why not organise a little water party for them to splash around in? Getting kids into the bath to wash is one thing, but when it comes to paddling pools they can’t get enough of the water. While they splash around, the parents can keep watchful eye but also relax a little to enjoy their spare time too.



6. Go to the local zoo

Most people living in a city are close by to a city farm and kids love nothing more than getting up close to animals they usually only see on TV. Large commercial zoos are usually too expensive, but smaller, localised farms tend to be free. All you need is bus fare, packed lunch and you are good to go for the rest of the day.

 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Better Car Journeys With Children

As parents, we need to make decisions sometimes that means we will spend a long time, sometimes a VERY long time in the car with our beloved children. This prospect doesn’t fill us with joy often because Children need entertaining. Otherwise, their behaviour can become less than desirable. 

But what can we do to ease the journey and make sure everyone has a great trip to the seaside? Here are a few tips for you to follow the next time you plan a journey


Photo by Ricardo Rocha on Unsplash


Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!

Said three times because you cannot underestimate the value of snacks on a car journey, make sure you pack a picnic before you leave or be prepared to fork out a small fortune at the services when the bored and hungry children beg you for a £5 bag of sweets! Don’t forget to bring drinks to stay hydrated too, also the adults need some energy to deal with the children at the other end of the journey. Not being able to burn off the energy they have bottled up for a couple of hours could have some effects on their behaviour. 


Electronics

Ok so we’re all trying to cut down on the amount of screen time our children have, but it’s never a bad idea to keep some iPads and DVD players charged and ready to go for a long journey, there are plenty of educational games or apps that encourage interaction with the rest of the family as well so it’s not all bad. Plus if they take some photos along the way, you may end up with some fantastic pictures for the holiday album too! 


Consider the Time

Some people have come up with the great idea to put the children in their PJs at usual bedtime, pack them and their pillows in the car with some blankets and get on the road! Obviously, this means the children are nice and sleepy so not bouncing around in the back of the car, just make sure the driver is well-rested before the journey, and plenty of stops are taken if needed! This little life hack, though, could be a great time and sanity saver for everyone if it works for you! 


Music

Whether you’re in a Used Vauxhall Zafira Tourer or the latest supercar you’re not going to want to listen to the Cbeebies soundtrack the whole way there, but it’s always a good idea to allow the children some time to listen to their favourite songs to keep them entertained. If you compromise too, you might end up enjoying some of the setlist yourself as well! How about a Karaoke competition along the way too? No...? 


Don’t underestimate how stressful a car journey can be, you will need to prepare well in advance to try to avoid tantrums on the way. Depending on the age of your children and the length of the journey, you will find it always pays off to plan your trip carefully in advance!

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Creating a Calm Bedroom

The bedroom should be a space where you can relax, unwind, and destress from the day. Often though, it becomes cluttered, with clothing piles, we don’t correctly take care of our mattress, and before you know it, you couldn’t be less comfortable in there if you tried. Creating a calm bedroom doesn’t take much time or a significant cash investment. 


Photo by Sylwia Pietruszka on Unsplash

Plan

Before you start moving things around, have an idea for what you want the room to look and feel like. Of course, calm and relaxing goes without saying. But do you want to change the colour? Have you considered a different style of bed? Spend a few hours with a coffee (or tea) and browse Pinterest for the best bedroom inspiration

Clutter

You probably have a lot of stuff, just heaped up in the corner. Most of us have a chair that only has one purpose in life, and that is to be the home to clothing that is not clean enough for the cupboard or dirty enough for the wash. It might just be time to work out if you need all of the clothing you have. And if you trim down the clothing you have, does the chair still have a purpose? Is your nightstand put to good use? What else do you have in the room that you could do without? Donate what is still good enough to use, bin what isn’t and feel a whole lot happier at having less stuff. 

Bed

When it comes to your bed, it really matters. A soft or saggy mattress can play havoc with your back. Springs sticking out can be painful, and if they pierce the mattress, they are sharp and dangerous. We aren’t great at changing our mattress in good time, sadly we tend to wait too long, and by the time it happens, the damage is already done. Your headboard, as well as being decorative, can serve to separate where you lay your head and your wall. A rattan headboard can add a nice natural feel to your room. 

Green

If you are looking to make the room more relaxed in general, then you should think about adding some touches of green. Tall standing plants are great in the corners of the room, and smaller ones can adorn your window ledges and shelves. Typically plants serve two purposes - one to purify the air around them, which is ideal in your bedroom, and the other is add a natural feel to the space and help you relax. 

Clean

To get the best night's sleep, you should make sure you clean your sheets at least once a week at least and keep dust to a minimum. Remember to vacuum well under the bed and as far under more cumbersome furniture as you can get. 


Aside from all of the material elements in your room, you can also employ a more relaxing evening routine. In your new routine, try to go to bed a little earlier, listen to sleep stories or calming music, and treat anytime after 9.30pm as a late night. 



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