Harry Potter, House Music and Family Time #littleloves

I’ve decided to join in with the #LittleLoves linky hosted over at Coffee Work Sleep Repeat as I’m hoping it will encourage me to write more about my life and things that I’m loving right now. Also to make me to reflect on the week I’ve had and what I should be thankful for too. I haven’t written many posts like this for a long time and I think my blog needs a bit more of the personal touch again!

It’s the first week of January and it’s been quite busy. Had a lovely New Year’s with the kids at my Dad’s then drove home just in time to get the kids back to school yesterday (Thursday). It was sooooo difficult getting up while it was still dark. The kids have had some very late nights over the Christmas break so I really need to get them back into their routine asap. Luckily it’s only a two day week – result!

Read

jodi picoult the pact

I’ve just finished this book which I enjoyed very much, The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I thought it was a good read and it kept me guessing until the end… about a suicide pact made by two young teenage lovers which goes wrong. Or does it? My sister in law gave it to me, along with quite a few more which I’m slowly getting through. I’ve only just started reading books again this past year. I’ve always thought I didn’t have enough time…. well, being a busy working mum of 4 with a blog it’s hardly surprising! I still find it difficult to spare the time, I have this mental battle with myself that if I have time to read then I have time to be getting on with more important tasks that need doing! Which is stupid because we all need a bit of ‘me’ time and we all need to relax at some point…. but it’s that mum guilt thing I guess!

Going forward, I’d like to read a few motivational/mumboss books… maybe I’ll find some inspiration from the #littleloves community :)

Heard

This week I found a box of my old, tatty, CD’s from when I used to go raving! It’s been great playing some of my old House Music really loud again. Tunes that I’d forgotten about, by some of my favourite DJ’s of the time (early to mid 90’s). I was a serious clubber and did the whole Ibiza thing back in it’s hey day… seems like another world away now… but it’s been lovely this week having the music take me back to an incredibly fun, carefree time of my life and I’ve been reminiscing lots!

WATCHED

harry potter movies films

Watched so much rubbish over Christmas…. can’t beat a bit of Crimbo telly! What I did end up watching though and didn’t really plan to because I have the whole set of films on DVD and also have them all recorded on my Tivo Box…. and that is Harry Potter! The whole 8 movies were on every day from Christmas to New Years Eve and although I didn’t catch the first two, we watched the rest. Teen watched a couple too (on the few nights he was in!) He grew up with Harry Potter, we went to see most of the films together at the cinema him and I so they have a special place in my heart.

Wore

loungewear asos

loungewear asos

Being as I’ve been one lazy mumma during the Christmas break and the first half of this week and lived in my comfies or pj’s (not a pretty picture!) so I’m thinking I might invest in some snazzy ‘loungewear’ – quite liking the above sets from ASOS but in all seriousness…. what even is loungewear? They just look like glorified pyjamas to me! Can you wear them out or are they just for indoors? I do like them though!

Made

I don’t make things, ever! I’m not at all crafty so I will never be showing anything here that I’ve actually made! But this week I’ve been making the effort to be more organised and plan. I’ve already made a start with my blog by adding the post planner but I’m looking for the perfect diary/planner to write in every day. I quite like the Happiness Planner but haven’t made my mind up yet. If you have any suggestions let me know…

And lastly…

Having family time and being with loved ones over the Christmas break has been wonderful. We really needed the time out, away from everything. Even though I was gutted to be coming home and back to reality, work and school, I feel the holidays have done me the world of good!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

How to explain to your kids that you are moving home

Moving home can be an exciting and incredibly stressful time in equal measures. Not only do you need to make sure that everything is organised and sorted prior to the big day, all that de-cluttering, time spent at the estate agents and packing up boxes can impact your usual household Zen. However, when you are moving with children, your stress levels may even go through the roof! Not only do you have to juggle all the last-minute tasks with childcare, explaining to your kids that you are moving can be very delicate and difficult to bring up in discussion. So, if you are moving home soon, or still in the planning stages, then follow these tips to make having that all important conversation as stress-free and straightforward as possible.

Talk to your children

If you are moving overseas for a job, to be closer to family and friends or even because you are after a change, there’s no harm in taking time to talk to your children. Once you begin talking to your kids, you can find out just which aspects of moving make them anxious or upset. If they have to change schools, they may find the thought of change upsetting or stressful. While younger kids will find it hard to digest the idea that they are changing bedrooms. In the run up to your move, make sure that you mention your relocation regularly, and provide your kids with the opportunities to have a calm and adult discussion. Encourage them to voice any concerns, and make sure that they participate in any plans that you have for your new home – from choosing wallpaper and paint, to deciding which family member has each room.

Plan to perfection

As any parent knows, any activity involving small children requires even more planning and preparation than usual. When you are moving with small children, make sure that you write a list or put a removal plan in place, so that you can tick off all the tasks that need completing. Make sure that you pack everything in order, so that you aren’t left needing an item before you even move.

If you think that having your kids around on removal day will be far too difficult to manage, then be sure to book any childcare well in advance. The combination of small children and removal men will not make for a positive experience for all involved, especially if you choose a company that is less professional. Take time when researching your removal firm, and obtain up to three quotes to make sure that you know exactly what is included in their services. If you are relocating overseas or moving a long distance, then you could also consider getting help when packing too, to keep all your furniture and decorative items protected. Check out websites such as https://www.gosineremovals.uk if you are after more information and are ready to begin planning your move.

Get the kids involved

Now you’ve taken time to talk to your kids about your move, and have got your planning well underway, you can begin to actively get your kids involved in your moving process. You could begin, by getting them to sort through any toys or books that they no longer use or read, and organise a car boot sale or a charity donation. Next, help your kids begin their packing.  Decide which items need bubble wrap or some extra padding, and help your children assemble and pack their own boxes.

Older kids and teenagers express worry or anxiety in different ways, so it’s crucial that you make moving to a new house a positive experience for your older children too. If they want to help the removal men, then encourage them to get involved, providing that they listen to instructions and are extra careful. You could also ask them to help you write your removal plan, so that they feel like their opinion and input matters.  Finally, if you can’t sort a babysitter, then ask them to look after your younger kids on removal day. This will make them feel like they are being treated as a responsible adult, and validate any doubts that they had in their mind about moving.

Address any upset

Moving to a new house can be an upsetting and trying time for all family members, so it’s important that you address any conflictive or upset emotions. Make sure that you address the issue of change, and don’t shy away from having any awkward conversations. If you are moving to a new house because of divorce or a separation, then it’s essential that you address the changes and emotions that your kids are going through. Make sure that you don’t take sides, and try to remain open and unbiased as to how your kids are feeling. Chances are they will be finding it difficult with a mixture of guilt and upset, in addition to the fact that they are soon moving home for reasons beyond their control. It’s crucial that you address any upsets as soon as your kids start to demonstrate that they aren’t happy, before these escalate into more serious issues.

Moving home can be a stressful and scary time for adults, so just imagine what it is like if you are a child. All that packing and organisation, not to mention the fear of what awaits you at your new address can sometimes turn your excitement into anxiety and nerves. However, when you are moving to a new house with children then you need to make sure that they remain your priority even before you move. Get your children involved in any preparations for the big day, and make sure that you offer them the chance to have frank and candid discussions to talk through how they feel. Be sure to arrange a babysitter for younger kids, so that they don’t cause extra stress on the day, or give your older children more responsibility. Now you can enjoy this new chapter of your life with your entire family, safe in the knowledge that your kids are happy and healthy in their new home.

 

 

4 Home Improvement Ideas That Add Value

If you’re looking to move or sell your home in the near future, it’s a good idea to tackle your projects in order of importance. Prioritise your tasks so you’re focusing in on what’ll be most beneficial to you in the process.

Don’t assume what will add value. Do your homework and make sure you’re doing what the market calls for before making any sudden moves. Take your time and incorporate the updates as it makes sense. You want to be certain that the money you’re investing will be worth it in the end.

Here are four home improvement ideas that add value…

Windows

One way to add value and lower heating costs is to double glaze your windows. It’s recommended you speak with a glazing expert who can walk you through the process. Double glazing can save you money and reduce hot and cold spots in your house, as well as improving the value. Double glazing reduces your energy bills by slowing heat loss, so you spend less money heating and cooling your home. While the amount you save is low, it adds up a great deal over time and can help you to reduce your total yearly bills.

Kitchen

Your kitchen sees the most traffic in the home. There’s no denying that all eyes will be on this room when you’re showing it. The kitchen is where you cook and engage in conversation. It’s one of the main areas of your house, and you want it to look nice. If you have old countertops, appliances, cabinets and floors, it’s probably time for a full kitchen remodel. Doing so will impress your buyers and get them excited about living in the space. You’ll also get to enjoy it for a little while and can admire all of your hard work.

Bathroom

The bathrooms are another area of the home that you should pay special attention to. Update them and replace any old materials or designs right away. Bathrooms are important to buyers, and you can guarantee they’ll be checking them out closely. It’s also a good idea to add a fresh coat of soothing paint. Think enduring designs and neutral colours that will last a long time. Accessorise and create a wow factor that will impress guests and potential buyers.

Curb Appeal

Remember to step outside when you’re looking to add value to your home. Your curb appeal is important to buyers and people passing by. Tidy up the garden, path and trim your shrubs and trees. Hire a professional landscaper if it’s not a job you want to tackle alone. Improve your entrance by adding a welcome mat, attractive lights and a bench and flowers for a personal touch. You want to create an inviting environment before they even enter your home.

Conclusion

It’s smart to prioritise your home updates, so you’re getting your money’s worth. Listen to the experts and follow their recommendations to be safe. 

Choosing the right car for Kids

Being a parent can be stressful at the best of times. You find yourself acting as a permanent taxi driver between school and ballet lessons, your car is now full of crisp and juice wrappers and you’ve also got to factor in the time it takes to wrestle with a baby seat. So is it time to say goodbye to your much-loved run around. In fact, choosing the right car for your kids doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to style and elegance, or even sex appeal. There are a range of vehicles on the market that offer practicality and sense at a price that won’t blow your budget out of the water.

You may have one child or be looking for something to use with your brood, don’t be daunted by the options available on the market. Choosing the right car for you, and the kids, need not cause you sleepless nights. Just be sure to take several factors into consideration before making your choice.

New versus Used

There might be nothing nicer than the smell of a brand new car, but do you realistically need to buy one when a used option will do? Even if you manage to get a great deal, consider how much of your monthly budget are you able to use on car loan repayments. Used cars, while a good option, should also be considered with care. Make sure you do your research online to find the best make and model for you. When going to look at your chosen vehicle, take time to go for a test drive and give the car a full inspection – you don’t want to miss any wear and tear that could cause future problems. You can take the risk out of buying used by visiting a dealership such as Mercedes Coldstream who approve the cars they offer in their range of used and new cars to help keep both you and the kids happy.

Running Costs

It might be the most beautiful car you’ve ever seen but how often will you need to keep filling up the tank? Running costs, such as fuel and part replacements can soon add up in larger models. Understand what journeys you need the car for, and be realistic about that you can expect your running costs to be.

Factor in the Family

Your little darlings are also your passengers, so taking their safety and comfort into consideration should be top of your list of priorities. Do you have space for that cumbersome child booster seat? Is the boot big enough for your weekly shop? Be practical and honest – after all this car is for your family, rather than just for you.

Before you start looking for a new car, identify what you need from the car. Your needs go beyond just needing transport. Consider comfort, safety and practicality to make sure that you buy a car that will take the kids into their teenage years.

6 Ways to Improve a Renovation Time

A home renovation project can be time consuming. Homeowners will therefore want to speed up the process so they can quickly enjoy their new design. However, a project can often range from a few weeks to a few years. We’re therefore offering six ways to improve a renovation time.

Provide Clear Instruction

The speed of the process can often be determined by a homeowner’s decisiveness, as well as how a renovation pro interprets your chosen brief. It’s therefore vital to provide clear instruction, so you’ll achieve a desired result in the fastest possible time. You must therefore provide as much detail as possible, so a designer, builder or architect will have a greater understanding of your vision.

Gain Planning Permission

A lack of planning permission can slow or shut down your home renovation project. It’s therefore essential to identify if your project will require planning permission as soon as possible. You must then apply to the relevant local planning authority, and it could take up to three months to receive permission.

Consider Your Neighbours

It only takes one disgruntled neighbour to slow down your home renovation project. They may also make an objection during the planning process, which could mark the end of the project before it has even started. Speak to a builder, architect or designer before you get started, as they will have experience anticipating potential problems. You can also prevent friction down the road by simply informing your neighbours of your renovation plans, which will allow you both to discuss any objections and possibly come to an agreement that suits everyone.

Set a Realistic Budget

A spiralling budget can often halt a home renovation project. We therefore recommend setting a realistic budget to keep a tight grasp on your finances from start to finish. Provide a builder, designer or architect with details on how much money you have available to spend, and provide an amount you feel comfortable spending on the project. You may think, ‘I’ll never finding an affordable builder near me’, but it’s easier than you’d think if use the internet, and it could help you make great savings. A builder will also have the knowledge and experience to advise you how to invest your money for the best result for your home.

Understand When Key Decisions Need to be Made

It’s not a builder’s responsibility to source a kitchen, flooring, bathroom fitting or tiling. It’s therefore advisable to speak to a contractor about the critical dates for decision making. The interior design materials will need to be selected by you in advance and ready for installation upon the builder’s request.

Add Time in the Schedule for Bespoke Items

Custom-made items will take a longer lead time in comparison to standard items. We encourage you to order bespoke items, such as full height doors, in advance to ensure they arrive on schedule. So, order the items as soon as possible to provide extra time for delivery.

Are you set to embark on a home renovation project? Share your plans by writing a comment below

#MySundayPhoto 04/12/16

Christmas tree 2016

Our Christmas tree is UP!

We’ve gone fake again this year and have pulled out our old tree. It’s a beautiful one we bought a couple of years ago but didn’t use it last year as we had a real one.

I do actually prefer a real Christmas Tree… it just seems more… I don’t know.. Christmassy! Think it’s that gorgeous smell that fills the room! We used to have a real tree every single year. However, I’m not sure what we do wrong but no matter which tree we buy (and it’s not as if we scrimp, we buy a good one) but it always ends up incredibly droopy by Christmas Day and looks a mess. I think our house might just be too warm. Our living room is always hot and cosy so maybe the tree doesn’t like it. I’ve no idea.

So we’re going with this one this year! It’s so pretty and I love our decorations. I let the kids put them on and we’ve gone with a less is more approach this year. Just putting our favourite ones on! Love this little Owl.. he has a hedgehog friend somewhere, and the lovely heart ornament above it!

Getting excited now for Christmas x

Photalife

Teksta Scorpion – A Review

The twins were very excited to receive the Teksta Scorpion. Such a cool toy they said!

It’s a wireless, interactive robotic toy and once it arrived they absolutely couldn’t wait to open and play with it.

teksta scorpian

It does require 6 batteries though, that we had to rummage round the house for… 4 AA’s and two AAA’s, so if you buy one for a Christmas present, make sure you remember to buy some! O wanted to have a go at putting the batteries in by himself, something he hasn’t done before but so eager was he to get the toy to work he wanted to move fast!

teksta scorpian

I was hoping it would be easy to use. I have a 16 year old and I remember him having the odd robotic toy just like this when he was young that we could never work out how to use properly. The remote controls never made them move the way they were supposed to and in the end, my boy would just get fed up and the robot would get thrown aside in favour of some other toy. Not what I wanted when I paid a small fortune for the things!

Thankfully, the Teksta Scorpion is as easy as pie to use.

teksta scorpian

The ‘remote’ comes in the form of a ‘watch’ type controller that ties around the wrist and once you have it switched on and aligned, the motion sensor allows you to move the Scorpion around with a flick of the wrist! Or you can simply hold it in your hand, which might work better for small children.

The green block it comes with is for the front pincers to ‘grab’, and even though it does pick this up easily, you do have to manually open the pincers first.

It moves around easily on all surfaces with it’s six little legs. One of them did keep coming off ours but it easily popped back on.

My twins absolutely love this and were pretty much fighting over the controller for the first half an hour until they settled down a bit! The good news is though that the Teksta Scorpion comes in two colours, Red, like ours, and also Bronze…. so we might just have to add the bronze one to the boys’ Christmas list because you can play up to 8 of these together all at one, in battle!

How cool is that? Definitely a must have toy for any boy!

The Teksta Scorpion retails at £39.99 and is out now in all good toy retailers.

teksta scorpian

We were sent the product in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own and honest.
%d bloggers like this: