How To Keep Insurance Premiums Low

How To Keep Insurance Premiums Low

There is often the misconception that all insurance policies are extremely expensive. Many people do not even consider the possibility of taking out the likes of life insurance and health insurance, as they simply assume they will not be able to afford it. However, this is certainly not the case.

Generally speaking, there are some sorts of policies that are more expensive than others, for example, international health insurance is more expensive than local insurance. Nonetheless, this is because you gain from more cover and a greater degree of benefits. It is all about value. Yet, this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in order to take out this type of policy. Discover various ways you can keep your premiums low, no matter the policy you are taking out…

Pay On A Yearly Basis – If you can afford to pay annually rather than monthly you will be able to make savings. There are a lot of insurance providers that offer substantial discounts for anyone that makes yearly payments.

Consider Increasing Your Excess – Excess is the amount of money you need to pay before your insurer will cover you. If you increase your excess you will benefit from lower monthly payments. Needless to say, this does not mean you should increase your excess to an unmanageable amount. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you need health care or a vehicle repair yet cannot afford to pay the amount required of you.

Low Cover – When choosing a policy, you will have the option of basic, intermediate or comprehensive cover. You need to think about the level of cover you truly need. Do you really need a comprehensive cover? Yes, for vehicles, you probably do, but for health policies, you may not. It is also worth noting that young driver insurance without black box can be a bit more expensive, but a lot of people prefer this because they don’t want all of their driving to be tracked. You really need to figure out what is important for you and compare quotes based on this, but don’t pay for unnecessary extras.

A Group Scheme – Group schemes present excellent saving opportunities. Consider joining a group scheme or you could even create a new group policy yourself. All of the members of the group scheme will reduce the amount of money they pay on their insurance and so it should not be too difficult to generate interest.

So there you have it – four key points to take into account if you want to keep your premium costs low. You could also think about switching your insurance provider when the renewal period arises.

The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

Children can learn through play without even realising it. As far as they are concerned they are just having fun, but you may be surprised just how much some toys and games can help with their development.

Up To 12 Months

For their first year, bright colours and toys that make noises, such as rattles, will best amuse your child. Toys that promote using their senses and encourage interaction are the best things at this age, Unbreakable mirrors, floor gyms, activity boards and soft colourful stuffed animals are a good start for babies first playthings.

Age 1 to 2

As they get a bit older they like toys where a cause has an effect. Sets where they can hammer pegs or balls through holes are good and stacking toys will help develop their motor skills. Shape sorters and puzzles with just four or five pieces are a great way for them to start solving problems.

Age 2 to 4

At this age, children need toys that are more purposeful. Their motor skills will have improved and they will be stacking blocks and doing simple puzzles by themselves. They will like toys that make sounds, such as a pretend telephone or toys that talk. It is at this age that they first start to play with different things. Usually, it is dolls for girls and trucks for boys. There is nothing wrong with this at 3 years of age, just as it is fine if boys want to play with dolls, or vice versa.

The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

Age 4 To 5

Their learning ability by the time they reach 4 has grown a great deal. It is a good time to start to introduce toys that really are educational, such as art and crafts supplies, electronic phonic toys, harder puzzles, action figures and a Melody Jane dolls house, as they are brilliant for encouraging imaginative play. Most 4/5 year olds love things such as dressing up, starting to play sports and simple board games.

Age 5 To 7

Now they will start to develop interests of their own. This could be a particular sport, cooking or playing with a favourite toy. A lot of them will become interested in digital devices and the games they can play on those. It’s also the age when they start wanting to have friends round to play some of their games with them. Some of the best toys for this age group include strategy games such as chess or draughts, computer and video games, basic science kits, building sets such as Lego, and bikes as they are good for their balance.

Over 7

Your child will continue to develop past 7 years old, but now they will probably know what toys they want. There will always be one they will tell you everyone has except them. You will hear then chat to their friends about the highest score they achieved on their latest computer game, and they will carry on trying to beat that.

Their interests will become more adult-like and they may well take up a hobby. If they are going to be a collector of something, it is not unusual for the collection to be started at this sort of age.

Three Tricks for Keeping Mess Minimal in Your Home

When you have children, keeping a tidy, organised home can feel like a mammoth task, one which no matter how often you try and truly declutter and clean, it never stays that way for long. After all, children come with an astounding amount of toys, clothes and mess, which you don’t want to restrict or curtail their creativity. So, what’s the solution? By keeping in mind a number of handy tricks, you can ensure your home stays mess-free for as long as possible (which will hopefully be more than one day!). Below are three such tips to help you turn your home from kid-chaos to minimal wonderland.

Storage, Storage and More Storage

You simply cannot underestimate the feeling of having every single toy put neatly in its place, books put away from the bedroom floor, and clothes arranged tidily in the wardrobe. How do you get to this point, however? By utilising clever storage hacks in every room! For example, your children’s room can be transformed from an area of disaster, with a mountain of toys and clothes piled in a corner to somewhere which evokes feelings of calm. Why not invest in a beautiful toy box, personalised especially for your kids? Alternatively, why not make use of all the wall space by attaching a variety of boxes to the walls, where books, dolls, teddy bears and stationery can live in harmony? Don’t forget to use under bed storage for children of all ages.

Create Themed Rooms

To truly keep the mess to a minimum, it’s worthwhile to create separate rooms for every member of the family. For example, rather than your children having their toys in the living room, why not adapt a spare room or a room you don’t use as much, such as a formal dining room, into a playroom? This way, the toys (hopefully!) stay in the correct room, instead of them being spread around the house.

This method can also work well for pets, particularly if you have a large dog. Dogs, especially after a long walk, can be muddy, wet and overexcited, meaning the mess can end up all over the house. By creating a dedicated space where your dog can dry off and be cleaned, you can minimise the amount of mud and dirt in other rooms. A utility room can be the ideal space, especially if it has easy to clean floors, such as hardwood floors from Kensyard.co.uk.

Create a Cleaning Schedule

This trick is rather simple but highly effective. How can you keep your entire home clean, tidy and mess-free if you don’t know exactly where to clean? You may have a rough idea, for example, cleaning the kitchen after every meal, but creating a schedule can help the whole family stay on task. If you have older children, setting cleaning chores are a great way to teach them responsibility and the life skills of keeping a home tidy and clean. Why not put together a schedule which accounts for every family member, from the youngest to the oldest? Your toddler may not be able to vacuum their rooms, but your teenagers certainly can!

So, you’re the baby shower host.. now what?

How lovely (and, maybe a little bit daunting); you’ve been entrusted with the task of hosting a beautiful baby shower for a beloved mum-to-be. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed if you’ve just started the planning process but don’t worry, it’s time to get the troops on board, then you’ll be able to plan something really lovely together. The following are some tips, ideas, and advice for those who want the baby shower they’re hosting to go seamlessly, and be as enjoyable as possible (without inducing labour in the guest of honour!)

baby shower

Presents And Gifting

Ask and see if the expectant mother wants or needs anything specific for her new baby. Try and put together a gift list to send around to the guests; this will enable each person to tick something off the list, and they’ll be no doubling up on presents. If you are part of a close friendship or family group, you could put your money together to create a hamper full of essentials, or the main gift that perhaps the new parents have been unable to afford. Don’t go buying any designer cots or prams, without asking the mum or dad-to-be what they already have. Personalised items are another way to give the new mama something special that she and her child can appreciate forever; embroidered blankets, or art for the nursery, will make a functional gift, and be a sentimental surprise. Just try to remember that the thought put into it is the most important thing.

Send Out Those Invites

Sort out a time and a venue as soon as possible, and make sure it’s around a month or six weeks before the baby is due to arrive (leaving it too close to the due date is a risky move). The best time for a shower is around lunchtime or early afternoon; this will ensure the guest of honour won’t be too tired, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy any food, drink, and nibbles. If you’re planning a surprise for the future mama, then make sure you state that on your invitations; you don’t want anyone to let the exciting news slip. There are loads of invitation design ideas online, so it’s worth taking a look for a bit of inspiration.

Food, Nibbles, And Treats

The sweet treats at the shower can easily reflect the colour palette and theme of the event; coloured icing, sprinkles and cake toppers are all excellent ways to incorporate your chosen shades. A buffet style offering is a relaxed and informal way to feed the guests and gives everybody the chance to bring a dish to the party. By involving the guests in providing the food, you’ll save yourself precious time and money.

baby shower cakes

Any time and effort that you put into hosting a baby shower will be appreciated by the expectant mother for the years ahead. You’ll be helping her to make lasting, lovely memories, and getting everyone excited for the new arrival.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me #Thinkwayfriends

It’s all back to school now within the next week and I have to say I’m gutted. I love having my kids off and spending all our time together! I love the leisurely mornings we can have and hate the early routines of school runs… waking up the kids, rushing them out of the door! This next term too sees the return of the dark mornings which are the worst!

My twins always struggle with back to school after summer holidays. They have been known to cry at the classroom door… not because they hate school, they don’t, it’s just they want to stay with me. Last year though, we tuned a corner and I think (hope) this will be the case this year.

The reason for this change is because they know they will be seeing all their friends again! They’ve got to the age where they realise the importance of friendships and how much joy they bring. They love their little ‘gang’ of boys and getting together again at school after the long break will be lots of fun!

This motley crew is made up of my twins and their school friends at a party just before the end of term in July!

Friends are THE best thing about school, I think most people would agree. When you think back as an adult to your own school days, it’s the laughs you had with the friends you made that will probably stick out the most in your memory!

This week we were sent some brand new Toy Story Buzz and Woody toys from Smyths to celebrate all things friendships! We’ve had Woody and Buzz before in our toy collection. In fact, we have quite a lot of the characters from the film as all four of my children have been into them over the years and they’ve popped up frequently under the Christmas tree! Teen (19) even had the original ones from way back when! But these, made by Thinkway Toys are definitely the most true to life ones we’ve seen! At 12″ tall they’re nice and sturdy, with Buzz being able to stand up on his own!

They’re stunning aren’t they?

toy story buzz and woody thinkway toys

Buzz and Woody were definitely the best of friends in the Toy Story films. Yes they disagreed and had their fall outs, but that’s completely normal for best buddies isn’t it? Children can relate to these two favourites as they learn all about friendships themselves. Buzz and Woody are great role models too as they stick together through thick and thin and don’t give up on each other when times are difficult! Buzz has rescued Woody and Woody has rescued Buzz throughout the 3 Toy Story films!

Now we’re on countdown for the release of the brand new Toy Story movie coming out next year in June 2019! Toy Story 4… how exciting! I can’t wait to see what all the toys get up to this time… the last time we saw them, which was way back in 2010.. can you believe it was THAT long ago? Andy went off to college and ended up giving his beloved toys to the little girl round the corner! I wonder if we’ll get to see Andy again? I hope to see lots more Buzz and Woody adventures…. and there’s bound to be some new characters as there always has been with each new film release!

Great friendships come in all forms and aren’t just for school… even siblings can be the best of friends and nowhere is this more true than in my home with my twins…. they are the epitome of best friends and are always happiest playing together! They are kind and supportive of each other, yes they have their moments when they argue, but they are fiercely protective and I hope this is what they find in school friendships they make too.

twins toy story toys toy story 4

I decided to take the two sets of best friends out for an afternoon play at the park…. Woody and Buzz and my twins! They had lots of fun!

toy story friendsEnjoying the see-saw together!

toy story BuzzBuzz Lightyear liked the play house

toy story woodyWoody liked the slide

toy story buzz and woodyEnjoying the rope climbing frame

toy story buzz lightyearLucky Buzz even got to share some ice cream

My twins have played lots with Buzz and Woody since we’ve had them and now I’m giving you the chance to buy some of your favourite Toy Story Characters with my new competition!

There’s a £50 Smyths voucher to be won here on the blog and all you have to do to win is fill out the Gleam widget below!

#Thinkwayfriends

£50 Smyths Voucher #ThinkwayFriends

Best of luck!

If you have a child starting school this September… here’s to them making lots of new wonderful friends! For those that are returning…. here’s to lots more fun with the great friends they already have and for the new ones that might come along!

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Ways To Make Your Life As Mummy, Easier

Whether you’re a Mum to five children, or you’ve just got the one special little bundle of joy, one thing we all have in common is that we’re constantly running around after them. Being a Mum is an exhausting job in itself, and then of course there’s the housework, our jobs, our spouses, and also trying to fit time in for yourself. One thing that all parents are looking for, is how to make their lives easier with little hacks here and there, especially when it comes to cleaning. So take a look at these fabulous ways to make your life as Mummy, easier.

make life easier

Invest in Tougher Products

While it’s understandable that you want to save every spare penny, buying store own brands of cleaning products might not always get the job done. Those hard dried stains on your hob just won’t come off with a simple spray of antibacterial now! Take a look at these highly sought-after products to make your life much easier when cleaning:

  • Elbow grease – and not the hard work kind either. This product is amazing for use on hard surfaces and even fabric! Simply spray, wait a little while, and wipe clean.
  • Zoflora is a disinfectant that comes in a range of incredible smells. It can be used to go over surfaces that wouldn’t otherwise smell nice. With so many uses for Zoflora, and at such a cheap price, you can have your home germ free and smelling amazing in no time!
  • The Pink Stuff is a creamy paste that’s perfect for cutting through grime and grease. Popularly used on oven doors to make them come up completely clean, it can be used pretty much anywhere around the kitchen. Again, simply let it do its job and wipe away with a damp cloth. Job done!

Modify Your Home

Sometimes, the worst job when it comes to cleaning is trying to get stubborn stains out of carpets, so why have them in every room? Consider putting oak laminate flooring by Factory Direct Flooring in the rooms that your children (and you) eat and perform messy play in so that you’re able to simply sweep up, mop, and still have time for that cup of coffee you’ve been craving all day. The same goes for surfaces in your home, try to keep them easy to wipe clean so that you’re not spending hours cleaning up after everybody, and you can enjoy time with them instead.

Consider Alternative Ways of Keeping your Home Clean

Fed up of vacuuming? Yeah, pretty much everyone is these days! However, you can now invest in a robotic vacuum to do all of the work for you! Simply set it to the room(s) you want, and let it do the work for you! All you’ll have to do is empty it from time to time!

Get Everyone Involved

Finally, rather than playing maid to everyone, why not get them all involved? Create chore charts for your children. Teaching your children to take responsibility of chores at a young age will help them later in life, and also give you even more time to sit with your feet up and a mug of hot coffee.

The Key to a Smart Bedroom is Smart Storage

No one wants to go to sleep in a room that feels cramped and claustrophobic. However, creating a bedroom that feels spacious and airy can be a tall order, especially if you live in a smaller property, or have a lot of stuff. Although, while tough, it’s not necessarily impossible. Here are some smart storage ideas and space-related tips to help you create a peaceful, mess free bedroom.

smart bedroom smart storage

Wardrobe

The first thing you need to get right in your bedroom if you want it to have a spacious feel is the wardrobe. Sadly, many people think that leaving this vital piece of furniture out of their design can make their room seem more spacious. However, this isn’t always the case, especially if you end up with a lot of clothes all over the bed and the floor!

In fact, it’s much better to invest in an attractive looking closet with a mirror like the ones available from Rauch wardrobes online. Then you will have a place that everything can be stored, and the mirror will help to make the space feel much larger than it actually is. Double win!

Underbed

Next, be sure to use all those other hidden areas in your bedroom for storage too. In particular, don’t forget that most bed frames have a large area underneath that isn’t being used for anything, but also can’t be seen if you use a long valance.

This makes such a space perfect for under bed storage, something you can use plastic container boxes, rolling shelves, or even vacuum packs for. The latter being particularly useful for storing a large amount of bedding, or off-season clothes in a small space.

Over door hangers

I love over door hangers, you know the ones they use for shoes! You can put them up and then you have loads of pocket that you can reach quickly and store all sort things in including makeup, accessories, and other bits and bobs that would otherwise be cluttering up the place.

They are pretty cheap too, and if you keep your door open most of the time, you won’t even see that they are there. Something else that can help to contribute to the feeling of space in your bedroom.

Other space-related tips

Lastly, apart from getting the storage right, there are some other things you can do to increase the spacious and airy feeling in your bedroom. The first is to use light and neutral colours to decorate with, as well as learning how to hang curtains properly. For anyone that is wondering, curtains should be hung around the windows and not over them, to ensure that they let in as much light as possible and make the space seem brighter and more substantial.

smart bedroom storage

You can even use a similar trick when laying rugs under your bed. All you need to do is instead of putting them against the wall where the headboard hits, move them out little at the end of the bed. You will also need to make sure that your rug extends out past the sides of the bed as well. Something that will once again give you a feeling of space no matter what the size of your room.

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