Three questions to ask when buying a Family Car

A new set of wheels is a big deal, and when it comes to your family, you want to make sure you’re buying something safe, economical and long-lasting. Purchasing a car on your own is daunting, and women, in particular, are often targeted by unscrupulous dealers and salesmen looking to unload faulty or unsellable vehicles. When it’s time for a new vehicle, then these are just three simple questions you need to ask to make sure you get a car that’s right for you.

  1. How safe is it?

Safety is the number-one priority when it comes to purchasing a new car. The latest driver assistance technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives on our roads. Look for technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which uses sensors to identify road hazards and can slow and even stop vehicles before a collision; electronic stability control (ESC) which activates when a driver loses control of a car in an accident, and lane-keep assist, which warns drivers when they stray outside their lane. As well as new technologies, vehicles should also include curtain airbags, which will protect you and your children from a side-impact crash and reduce driver death by nearly 40 percent.

  1. How big is it?

Chances are, if you’re a busy parent with several children, then your car needs lots of space! Between taking little ones to sports, supermarket shopping, prams and trips away, a hatchback or sedan just isn’t going to cut it. As how big the boot space is if it isn’t listed, both with the back seats up and down. A ‘big’ boot with the backseat up is considered anything over 500 litres and should be plenty of space for a busy family. It also pays to look at whether you need a five-seater or seven-seater car. Numerous large SUV models have an optional two seats in the back seat, which is ideal if you sometimes carpool or drive children’s friends or relations around but don’t necessarily require a van for day-to-day use.

  1. How much fuel does it use?

A car may seem cheap up front, but turn out to be a huge expense with a large, inefficient engine. Ask the owner or salesman about its fuel rating. If they’re a commercial dealer and don’t know, then that’s a red flag and suggests they don’t know a huge amount about their own cars. You can also check a car’s fuel consumption online. Remember that petrol will be an ongoing expense, so if you’re tossing up between several models with similar safety features and size requirements, then choose the one with the lowest fuel consumption – this will save you the most money in the long run.

You don’t have to learn everything there is to know about cars to when it’s time to purchase your next family vehicle. If you’re concerned about getting a cost-effective, safe vehicle for your family, then it’s worth looking at online websites featuring cars for sale, such as Auto Trader, which will clearly display all the relevant information you need, allowing you to make an informed choice.

Collaborative Post

Easter holidays 2017 and Tatton Park

So all the kids are back at school this week after the Easter holidays! Mine went back last week actually but most areas in the UK went back today.

Are you glad to get back into some sort of routine? The majority of parents are in agreement I think that they adore having the kids at home, but equally adore regaining a bit of structure to the day and getting their sanity back!! It also means we can get on with the things that we really can’t do when kids are around all the time!

I LOVE having my children home with me though. I could happily wallow in a bubble of just me and them for ever! I just like them being around.. they’re good kids… and I LOVE not having to rush out of the door in the morning on the school run! I say this after every holidays I know. I just wish I could have my children home more.. childhood goes so fast and in the blink of an eye they’re all grown up!

We had a relaxing couple of weeks off. We didn’t do THAT much. I had to work Monday and Tuesday the first week. But on the Wednesday we babysat for my friends baby. He has Down Syndrome and he is the most gorgeous boy ever! We adore him, especially my daughter… she is absolutely obsessed with him and I’ll be lucky to get near him when she’s around! She loves him to bits! He’s so well behaved and happy!

Here he is…… He’d just had his lunch in this photo and he ate it all up… such a good boy!

On Thursday I took the kids over to a friends house! They played with her children in their swimming pool in the garden most of the day which was wonderful! Even if it was a bit chilly outside… they didn’t care at all! It was a lovely day, always nice to catch up with friends and we stayed quite late so really made the most of it!

swimming pool garden fun

pool garden

At the weekend I drove up to Lancashire to my Dad’s house. It always seems like a mammoth task packing the car for myself and the three kids and driving around 200 miles to get there, fighting traffic and roadworks, but it’s exciting too and feels like a mini holiday! I love being with my Dad and staying at his house. It’s quite strange now that I don’t always take Teen. He ALWAYS loved going to my Dad’s (used to be my Mum there too until she sadly passed away almost 9 years ago now) but because he’s 18 now and has a part time job, he’s often working, as is my OH so they stay at home together! Teen also likes to stay behind because of friends. Hopefully though he will come with us next time!

We made the most of the lovely weather (while it lasted) and visited the gorgeous Tatton Park in Cheshire whilst at my Dads! It’s part of the National Trust and is a great day out… lots to see and do and the best thing is, it doesn’t cost a fortune!

You could really spend all day here, it’s absolutely a wonderful place, we didn’t even get round to seeing everything after arriving at just before lunch, so if you go, get there early is all I can say!

There’s a cute little farm to walk around which has the most fascinating outbuildings. Some of them are miniature museums showing how people used to live there last century! There’s a fairground and adventure playground where the kids can go crazy for a while, there are the beautiful, huge gardens… my children loved exploring these, there’s parkland where you can spot deer, there’s shops and a lovely restaurant too! Then of course there’s the mansion itself that you can go inside of and look around.

tatton park days out cheshire

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays flowers pretty

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

Just some of the lovely grounds and gardens there at Tatton Park! Even though it was a lovely day, it’s still very early Spring and most of the flowers hadn’t bloomed, but you can imagine how pretty it’s all going to look once that happens? We hope to make another visit here in the Summer!

Another day we had a trip to the cinema to see Moana! The kids had been wanting to see it for a while but we hadn’t got round to it, so I checked to see if it was on the Kids AM deal at Vue cinemas and it was! Bonus! Nice and cheap tickets for us 🙂 Have you been to the Kids AM at Vue before? At weekends and school holidays you can take the kids (it’s only families that are allowed this deal) to see a film for £2.50! When you have a big family like mine, a trip to the cinema for everyone can be costly…. if you can wait (the films showing are usually those that have been out for a while) it’s definitely worth it!

We LOVED Moana… such a good film! We even bought some Moana cupcakes to make at home during that second week of the holidays when the weather was pretty dire, in Lancashire anyway!

moana cakes

We spent the rest of the time at my Dad’s just chillin’ (perfect) and being together and catching up with family members.

We had a lovely time! I really didn’t want to come home and back to the daily grind but hey ho…. that’s life I guess…. until I win the lottery that is 😉

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter…. roll on half term!

Lottery Dreaming

So this week it’s the Mega Week with the EuroMillions.

10 GUARANTEED millionaires as well as the usual jackpots.

I’m not religious about doing the lottery as I know I’ll never win, but weeks like this I do believe I’ll have more of a chance!

I don’t know about you but I LOVE secretly dreaming about winning the lottery and could literally drift off into another, luxurious world for hours imagining a lavish life of constant holidays and being surrounded by the most beautiful things.

I love nothing more than deciding what I would buy first. How wonderful to be faced with such a difficult decision 😉 ….. what WOULD I buy first??!!

After having a little conversation with my work colleagues this week, it seems I’m not the only one that likes to dream about this!

Do you?

I have two scenarios in this dream. One where I’m incredibly greedy and my winnings are so BIG there is literally no limit as to what I can spend! This means I have to win the EuroMillions. Especially when it’s rolled over a number of times and the jackpot is somewhere in the region of 55 million (as it has been recently!).

Yes, that’ll do nicely thank you!

After much deliberation, I can be sure my first purchase would be a brand new car! Probably a state of the art Range Rover or something like that. I need a 6/7 seater so my choices are limited. Because of this, I may buy two cars. One for when I’m with all the kids, and a little sports car for when I’m just with one, or when I’m alone! I would also buy a nice new car for the OH (whatever he wants) and something special for Teen! I would LOVE to treat Teen to the car of his dreams, even though it probably wouldn’t be a good idea as he hasn’t passed his test yet (having lessons) and therefore wouldn’t be the safest option for a newly qualified driver but…. just to see his overjoyed, ecstatic little face!

In fact, I imagine keeping my lottery win a secret initially so as to ‘surprise’ my loved ones with gifts! How exciting would that be?!

Next, I would organise to have the renovation of our house completed. I would like to see it all finished, even if we were to buy another, which of course we would, but maybe not straight away. This one is very close to my daughter’s school and she has already told me she wouldn’t move schools, even if we could send her the best school in the Country! Bless her!

However, I WOULD move my twins to a new, private school. There are one or two prestigious, independent schools not far from us that I would love to have them educated at!

Shopping on a massive scale would be taking place continually during this time I have to add.

I imagine being able to treat my family and close friends. This makes me the happiest, knowing that I could really make a big difference to their lives. But it’s more than just helping them out, it’s about them being able to enjoy my win too because if I’m going to start living a millionaires lifestyle, I want my friends to live it too otherwise what’s the point? Yes I could pay for everything, but making them rich too means they feel as though they’ve won too and we can all be rich together 🙂

Ahh….. just thinking about the choices having this much money would bring! How utterly fairy tale like…… We could have anything we wanted…..

I also have the daydream whereby I win only a limited about of money… say £500,000 or one Million. I have to be a little more restrained with this one because actually, even though either of those two figures is a life changing amount, living close to London, it wouldn’t go THAT far, especially if I wanted to buy a house! This requires a lot more careful planning, which is still wonderful, but simply paying off the mortgage and staying put in our current home would be the best option! Thus leaving some for new cars and that all important spending!

But seriously. It would just be great to not have to think about whether we can afford something. To be able to have a good holiday every year and to replace things when we need to, rather than having to make do! It would be nice to eat out more often as a family (it’s an expensive affair when there’s six of you!) and have more days out!

This week I have purchased tickets for Tuesday’s EuroMillions Draw and Friday’s too.

I haven’t checked Tuesdays yet. This is another little thing I do to keep my dream alive. I don’t like to check my tickets straight away because that way, in my mind, I could still be a winner and that means I can carry on with my oh so good daydreams of how I will spend my winnings! The moment I check them and know I haven’t won, it’s a real come down and I feel rather deflated.

So, I could be a winner right now! I could be a millionaire as we speak!

I have my ticket from Tuesday here…..

lottery ticket euromillions

I won’t be checking tonight’s ticket either. For a while!

I have to say that I haven’t won a single thing for years on the Lottery. Not even a measly tenner! It baffles me how the jackpot can roll over for weeks and weeks too, meaning out of all the millions of people who bought tickets, not a single one could match the six numbers! Crazy!

But anyway, I’ll be keeping everything crossed for tonight, and if you’ve bought a ticket, I wish you the very best of luck!

Week 12 Photo 2016 – Is it Spring?

This photo was taken yesterday (Good Friday)… wasn’t it a beautiful day?

I contemplated going out somewhere but the kids were so happy playing in the garden that I thought why bother? They absolutely love being at home and have each other to play with so they never seem bored. I did ask them if they wanted to go somewhere and they said no.

It’s lovely that my younger three get along so well. Yes, they fall out occasionally but the majority of the time they really are connected. They chat, make up games  for hours sometimes and just play together so easily.

I adore watching them at play in the garden. Outside in the fresh air using their imagination to create fun games. It’s being kids at it’s finest! My daughter is great with her younger brothers and they adore her. She’s getting older now though which makes these moments even more special. It won’t be long before the twins will be too babyish for her and she’ll want to do more grown up stuff! Then days like this will be a distant memory 🙁

But wasn’t it great to see some gorgeous blue sky yesterday? The twins even had their shorts on it was so mild! Spring feels like it most definitely is in the air. I’m looking forward to warmer days and sunshine… and Summer isn’t (hopefully) that far away…..

Although today it’s raining. Typical. Fingers crossed we have some good weather during the holidays.

Speaking of school holidays, in other news this week, I’ve been looking forward to the long Easter weekend. Nothing planned, which is perfect as we’ve had a few very busy weekends recently so haven’t had much time to relax at all. The kids are back at school next week for four days before breaking up for the full two weeks next weekend. A bit odd but it’s good because we feel as though we’re getting extra holiday this year! Can’t wait!

Hope you’ve all had a great week.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky


Week 10 Photo 2016 – Gone with the Wind

I completely missed out week 9 of Project 52, just in case anyone is wondering. Life got in the way!

So onto last week…. Week 10. This was spent at home mostly because I had my daughter off school ill.

I was working on Monday but when I picked up my Girl from school she seemed exhausted. Weirdly exhausted…. To the point of her taking herself off to bed that evening ridiculously early. I think we know, as parents, that when a child does that… something is definitely wrong!

The following day she slept and she didn’t really improve on Wednesday so I took her to the doctors. Of course (as is the usual diagnosis) the Doctor informed us that she had a virus and possibly asthma because of her lingering dry cough (I don’t think it’s the latter but a virus sounded about right as she did have a temperature). Whatever it was though, it completely whacked her out and it wasn’t nice seeing her so down and lethargic.

On Friday I decided to put on this film. Gone with the Wind…. My favourite film ever. I used to love watching old films with my mum when I was a little girl and this was the one that I loved best. I’ve seen it so many times. I always wanted to watch it with my own daughter but the time has never seemed right and the fact that it’s old and relatively slow, I wasn’t sure she’d be interested in it. Plus, being a four hour epic, with all the other things she could be doing instead…. I didn’t think she would sit through it to be honest.

But she did… AND she enjoyed it! She was distracted at times, as I thought she would be, and she asked a couple of questions about what was going on in parts, but she said she liked it! I think it’s one of those films that you have to watch more than once to really appreciate, and she’s possibly a bit young to truly understand the story line.

It’s such a good film though. Scarlett O’hara has to be my favourite character of all time and the story of her life, her relationship with the dashing Rhett Butler and the American Old South is incredibly gripping and moving. It was wonderful to watch it again (I haven’t seen it for years.. possibly since I was a teenager!) and I’m so glad my daughter has seen it now too.

Life Update

I just wanted to write a quick post as I’ve been neglecting my blog a little of late, life has been getting in the way and however much I love my blog, family time has to come first.

I’ve decided to drop out of doing #Project365 which, for those that may not know, is a weekly linky that I’ve been joining in with for over a year and a half. I write a post each and every week with a photo representing each day and a few words explaining what the photo is about. I enjoyed it because it was a good way to keep a diary of what we get up to. I completed the whole year last year and was immensely proud of myself because it wasn’t easy, remembering to take a photo every single day for 365 days! Lots of people drop out so I’m glad I made it to the end.

But after nearly six months of this year I’m going to stop. I’ve missed a few weeks and whereas normally I’d write them all up at once, I have felt as though I’m just taking photo’s of anything really, for the sake of it, rather than enjoying it like I used to.

I think the main reason for this is my time. I don’t want to be confined to joining in every week. As I said, things have been busy at home, I work part time, we’ve had quite a few social events lately, my four children have had lots going on at school and I just want to blog when I can, not because I have to!

I still want to keep a record of what we do but will instead, just write up posts about certain events that have happened that I want to record, rather than the mundane.

If you enjoyed reading my #365 posts I do apologise! I may be back to start all over again next year, who knows!

New Job. New Exciting Times!

Back to work

It’s funny how things happen in life, how you can turn a corner and something new happens, something unexpected.

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend, a bit of a whinging session, I was feeling fed up and a bit pissed off to be honest. She’s a friend who I met through my daughter as her daughter and mine are best friends, in fact, I wrote about their friendship a little a while ago!

Anyway, my friend runs her own business, in fact she runs two…. she’s very successful and out of the blue asked me if I’d like to go and work for her!

I was completely taken aback, I wasn’t expecting it at all… she KNOWS me for gods sake, I would never have asked her for a job, even if I was looking for one because a) I wouldn’t want to put her in a position to have to say no and feel bad and b) I would’ve thought she might not want her perpetually late, scatter brain friend anywhere near her offices lol!

But she said she needed someone a couple of days a week to help out within her new venture and thought I’d be perfect for it, plus I have a sneaky suspicion she thought it would be good for me to get the hell out of the house now my twins are at school 🙂

I haven’t worked properly for years, I’ve enjoyed being a stay at home mum and being completely absorbed in all things kid related, so the thought of engaging my baby brain for something other than my blogging was slightly terrifying!

The role actually involves a lot of the things I’ve dabbling with at home in recent years during various projects, things along the lines of using WordPress, updating website content, PR and social media marketing!

I can do that!

I can actually do that?!

Of course I can. I do it most days in some way or another, but I never in a million years would’ve thought about applying for a job doing it…. yet here was someone putting her faith in me, offering me a fantastic role and giving me the opportunity to return into the workplace in a job that can fit around my children, where I can expand on my current skills and learn new ones.

And I absolutely LOVE IT!

I’ve been at work (feels weird saying that!) now for a few weeks. The offices are literally round the corner from my kids school and the hours are 9-3 which couldn’t be more perfect…. just gets better doesn’t it? The other members of the company are also Mums who are lovely and it feels great to be part of a team who are all striving to grow the business together, which is recruitment for Mums and a community based website.

I love getting ready for work too, wearing something a bit more interesting than my usual jeans and Uggs! Not that I’m dissing Uggs, I love mine. But it’s nice to get dressed up and look smart for a change, much dusting off of heels and skirts has been carried out! It’s feels good to be in an office again, having adult conversations and feeling  as though I’m part of a team!

Being out for the two days takes some getting used to though as it’s two days of housework/blogging that I’m losing, which needs catching up on. But hey, a small price to pay for the experience I’m gaining in my new venture 🙂

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