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.

In case of emergency: What to do if you think your child needs medical attention

It is something no parent likes to think about: their child going into hospital. While going in for an emergency treatment or checkup can be a stressful experience, it is something every parent needs to read up on so that they can keep their child safe and healthy. I have outlined some essential information to read up on so that in the event you do need to rush them in, you won’t be wasting any precious time and can get your child seen to as soon as possible. 

doctor medial emergency

When to go to A&E

The first thing to consider when you think your child may need urgent medical attention is what symptoms to look out for that are a cause for concern. Things such as a high temperature, difficulty breathing, a bad fall where they potentially hit their head, loss of consciousness, are all things that you need to be vigilant for and act on quickly. The other thing to look for, which may seem initially obvious, is what your child is telling you about any pain they are in. As a parent there is so much you have to deal with and a consequence of that is that every now and again you will push something your child said aside and dismiss it. The thing you need to do here is to simply ask some easy follow up questions and keep a mental note of if your child has complained of this symptom before, if this is the case they do indeed need a trip to A&E.

Keep calm and carry on

If you do need to make the trip to the hospital, this can be a distressing time for a child who perhaps doesn’t understand exactly what is going on. To this end, it is a good idea to find strategies on how to keep your child calm in these circumstances so that you limit how potentially upset your little one may become. A good idea is to pack a small bag with you before you leave for the hospital that includes some snacks and drinks, alongside some books, toys, and games to keep them well fed and entertained. By providing your child with some distraction you will give them the opportunity to be calm until they can be seen.

Knowing your rights

When you see a doctor, be it your local GP or at the hospital, your child is legally required to receive the best care possible and be treated with the utmost respect. If, when you are in A&E, you find that your child is not being taken seriously, or the that the care they are receiving is subpar, then you may want to look into pursuing a case of medical negligence. The Medical Negligence Experts can help by giving you legal advice and representation so you can get some justice.

Taking your child to the A&E is always a scary moment but knowing the early signs of illness and how to prepare in advance, you will be able to make the process go smoothly.

Tech presents for kids

It’s my twins birthday this weekend.. they’ll be nine years old!

Jeewiz how did that happen? It’s all going so quick I’d like time to slow down a bit please!

I still think of my twins as being about five or six… they’re only little and I guess with them being my last children… I do tend to baby them a LOT! They’re so cute and adorable and love cuddles and being with Mummy but what I’ve noticed with them, more so than with my older two, is that they don’t play with TOYS as much. They have loads of toys but they’re not interested in them at all really.

All they want to do is play on their gadgets and devices.

tech consoles ipads

They are obsessed!

I know this isn’t unusual in this day and age though… it’s a universal phenomenom we’re dealing with here as parents and although I do restrict ‘tablet’ time I don’t find it that much of a problem. It’s a sign of the times, kids need to be clued up and tech savvy in today’s world and actually, having these devices to play on certainly does have it’s advantages!

Most importantly, it means they’ll be quiet, especially if I’m needing to work as they’re so absorbed. It’s like they’re not even in the same house as me, barely moving at all until a last minute toilet dash or to eat! Also, by playing some of the games they download, they can all play together, which means they’re interacting and communicating, getting along nicely, rather than doing their own thing or even worse…. fighting!

So for their birthday this year they’ve asked for tech presents of course. On their rather extensive birthday list there’s not a single toy which is a bit sad… apart from maybe Squishes, which they have already!

xbox one

At the moment they have a PS3 that they play on but obviously, despite lots of games they have and still use regularly, the PS3 is now obsolete. They have the Nintendo Switch which they love and have asked for new games for but they have been asking for a new console for a while and it seems EITHER the PS4 or the XBox One will do! They’d have one of each if they could but they seem to be leaning more towards the XBox as this will be something completely new and the one that most of their friends have!

My eldest son had an Xbox. The old version he’s had it for years and still uses it! He’s not that into gaming so he hasn’t hanckered after a new one but I know he too would love it if we bought the XBox One S!

After reading up on it, this super machine not only provides exceptional family gaming but also has the Microsoft Windows userface (which I’m used to) and has the ability to do so much more in terms of entertainment experiences.

I’m sold anyway on this so even if we don’t get it for the twins’ birthday… it’ll still be on the wish list for Christmas and we’ll definitely buy it then! There’s absolutely no point in buying lots more toys…. they’ll get SOME of course but if they don’t play with them it’s a waste of money! They’ll get far more use out of the Xbox whether we like it or not!

Afternoon Tea Week 2018

This week.. 13th to 19th August 2018 is Afternoon Tea Week!

afternoon tea week 2018

Celebrating the great British tradition of Afternoon Tea week 2018 is set to be the biggest celebration of British style and elegant eccentricity ever. The tradition dating back to Victorian times was started by the seventh Duchess of Bedford. It’s claimed she created high tea while visiting the fifth Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle. Could she ever have imagined that her solution to afternoon hunger would not only turn into a British custom, but a week-long celebration?

Hotels, tea rooms and restaurants will be running one-off events and offering exclusive discounts, up and down the country.

Online experience gift retailer, Buyagift are offering 20% off their Afternoon Tea gifts with their special discount code to use on their website! And to make it more fun, they’ve come up with their very own hashtag #AfternoonteawithyourBFF to encourage you to enjoy one of their wonderful gifts with that special friend. Buyagift offer some of the best Afternoon Tea days around… from 5 star, posh hotels to fun themed affairs.. there’s something for everyone!

So if you’re looking for something lovely to do this week or this weekend…. be sure to grab the discount while it’s still on and join in with this wonderful national event!

 

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