Featured Post: Kitting the Whole Family Out with Great Swimwear

Brilliant beach in West Wales ideal for swimming or coasteering

Swimming is a great way to past the time. It is fun, keeps you fit and is something you can potentially enjoy year round, as a family.

No point in the UK is more than 70 miles from the sea. So, most families can easily take a day trip to the seaside. During the winter months, you can simply switch to visiting your nearest swimming pool.

To start enjoying this pastime all you need to do is to kit everyone out with some swimwear. You can easily buy what you need from online retailers like Simply Be. Here are a few tips to help you to quickly find what you need.

Measure everyone

Before you do anything else, measure everyone you are planning to buy new swimwear for. This is the best way to get the sizing right.

Another way of doing it is to measure something that you already own. Provided it fits well, of course. It is easy to measure a pair of trunks or swimming shorts. If you want to measure a swimsuit or bikini that you already own, this guide will help you to do it properly.

Buy good quality swimwear

If you are planning to go swimming on a regular basis, it makes sense to buy good quality items. Remember that both salt and chlorinated water make swimwear wear out faster. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this fact. Rinsing everyone’s costumes out as soon as possible will help. However, if you buy cheap swimwear it will not last very long. The fibres will start to break down after just a few weeks of wear. When that happens the costume will start to sag and fade.

Buy the right cut

For both men and women, there are several styles of swimwear to choose between. You want everyone in the family to feel comfortable while wearing their swimming costumes. So, take the time to find out what each member of your family would like to wear and try to buy something in that style.

Of course, it needs to be modest. If the swimwear you are buying will be worn on holiday bear in mind the dress code of the place you are planning to visit. For example, in France, most swimming pools will not allow men or boys to wear swimming shorts. So, if you will be staying there you will need to kit the male members of your family out with trunks instead.

If you, or other family members, are planning to take part in water sports or beach games you will need to bear this in mind as well. Some styles of swimwear, for example, string bikinis are not suitable for most watersports.

Goggles and buoyancy aids

If your children are young or are not confident in the water you will want to buy them some sort of buoyancy aids. A few years ago I wrote a short guide about buying them and goggles. You can read it here.

Featured Post: Fun for kids: 5 Things Every Parent Should Do for a Road Trip With Kids

Any expert will tell you that it pays to be well prepared before attempting a road trip with kids. Having some fun things to keep the kids occupied, along with snacks, drinks and the expectation that you’ll need to stop often, a road trip can actually be an enjoyable way to travel for kids and parents. The following ideas are sure to make the miles speed by without taking the smiles off your faces.

Make a Map

Kids, especially younger ones, like to ask repeatedly whether you’re there yet. By making them a map, they can assess how much further you have to go. Make a child-friendly map that features photos or drawings of the landmarks you’ll encounter along the way. Your child can mark off the landmarks as you drive so they know when you’re getting closer.

Make Some Stops for Fun

If you plan for stops along the way, you’ll all have fun and you won’t have to stress so much about making good time. There are all sorts of great attractions all over Britain and making time to see some of them makes for great memories and keeps kids from getting bored and cranky in the car. Look for museums, roadside fruit stands, quirky truck stops and other stuff along the way. You won’t be sorry! If you think you would make a better trip with a bigger or better car, take the opportunity. IntelligentcarLeasing.com offers the best prices for car leasing and you can lease a vehicle ideal for your trip.

Bring a Portable DVD Player

Any parent who has taken their child on a road trip will tell you that a portable DVD player is the best investment you’ll ever make. You can hook the device up the car via the Bluetooth or cigarette lighter, allowing your child to watch his or her favourite movies along the way. This is a great way to keep things calm and quiet along the way and a movie can also help a child fall asleep if you’re traveling at night or during naptime.

Save the Electronics for a Last Resort

Kids love their tablets and handheld video games, but even those will get boring after playing for hours. Stash them until your child is on his or her last bit of patience with riding in the car or when you’re stuck in traffic. Just when things are reaching their breaking point, hand over the device and things will be immediately better.

Consider Elevation

If you plan to drive into the mountains or otherwise climb in elevation, pack some snacks your child can chew or suck on. This helps relieve the pain and pressure in your child’s ear and gives them a tasty treat to look forward to on the road. You might even want one for yourself if you’re uncomfortable with changes in elevation. No one turns down candy!

A road trip doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. By planning it well in advance, you’ll have plenty to keep the kids entertained and everyone will look back on the trip with fondness because your memories will be pleasurable rather than disastrous.

Featured Post: Garden Lighting Projects that Will Transform Your Garden

The other day I was looking at garden lights from LED Hut and was surprised by how much choice there was. Garden lighting has come a long way. It really does not matter what type of ambience you want to achieve you can do it.

A sleek chic look

If your garden is all about clean lines then strip lighting could be the way to go. In the past few years, it has fallen drastically in price. This form of lighting is no longer the reserve of hotel pools and the owners of palatial homes.

You can simply use it to highlight any steps in your garden, or you can get a bit more creative. The lighting can potentially be installed on each fence post to create a row of beautiful upright strips that look like they are hovering above the ground. Or, you can run it around the edge of pots to highlight them and turn them and the plants they contain into stunning natural garden sculptures.

A soft oasis

For someone who likes everything to be a little warmer and softer, there are plenty of options. Installing deck lights is a great way to light up the communal floor spaces in your garden. If you buy the right kind, they can also be used to light up floors that are made of harder materials such as concrete. The light they give off is usually soft and very relaxing. Using spike lights you can create soft puddles of light that pick out some of your favourite trees or garden ornaments.

If you have a body of water in your garden, do not forget to light that up too. There is nothing more restful that listening to the sound of running water while you watch your fish swim serenely by in an otherwise dark space. The fact the body of water is the brightest element in the garden draws your eye to it and helps you to focus only on that. It really is a great way to lull yourself into a meditative state.

A place to play and entertain

Many people like to use their garden to entertain, for them, good quality lighting is essential. It allows them to continue to cook and serve their guests long after dark.

Again, there are many options. However, usually in that situation, you want your lights to be mounted quite high so that they create big puddles of light. Taking this approach means that you will need fewer fixtures to cast light across a big area. However, when installing this type of lighting, you need to think about your neighbours. Light pollution is increasingly becoming a problem in urban areas.

More ideas

If you would like more inspiration, just click the link. The article you will be taken too includes examples of 38 innovative garden lighting ideas. Most of them are for the type of luxury lighting you see used in high-end hotels and large properties. However, as you will see, the vast majority of them actually work really well for normal residential properties.

 

 

Featured Post: Choosing the perfect family pooch

So you have finally decided it is time for the family to grow and you are ready for the patter of tiny feet. Add to that a wet nose and a wagging tail and it can only mean one thing. Congratulations, you are going to share your life with your first family dog, and thing will never be quite the same again!

Deciding to get a dog is a big decision in itself, but it is only the beginning. The next question is what sort. Ask ten people and you will get ten answers, because each breed has its own foibles. One thing to remember, however, is that it can be a mistake to generalize. Suggesting that a spaniel will be hyperactive or a Rottweiler will be aggressive can be as inaccurate as making assumptions about a human on the basis of their race or nationality.

Remember, every dog has a unique character of its own, so see beyond the breed. In fact, some of the very best dogs are of no discernible breed at all, and there are no end of cross breed puppies for sale that will make wonderful pets and not cost you the earth.

So now that we have the question of breed disposed of, what else should you consider?

Family dynamics

Every family has its own dynamics, and these will affect your choice of dog. Young kids in the household? If you have under fives, you need to supervise closely for the safety of everyone, but it makes sense to get a puppy that will have a chance to grow up alongside the kids. Just remember, every dog has teeth and will use them, so what’s more important is to set ground rules for everyone – whether they are two or four-legged!

Temperament

As we mentioned earlier, every dog has its own character – but the breed will at least give you some clues as to what traits you might expect to see. Working dogs, such as border collies, need their own space, while breeds like Dalmatians thrive on attention and fun. Gun dogs tend to be sociable and obedient, while terriers can be more of a law unto themselves. But always remember, nurture plays a bigger role than nature, so do not get too caught up in the stereotypes!

Training

A key aspect of a dog’s temperament is how easy it is to train. Again, there are some clues in the breeds here, but when it comes down to it, any dog can be trained with determination and consistency. With that important caveat in mind, you will usually find that working dogs – Labradors, German Shepherds, Collies and the like – are keen to learn and eager to please. Huskies are notoriously difficult – not because they do not understand, but because they have an almost cat-like habit of deciding for themselves whether or not to obey.

Exercise

Every dog needs daily exercise and stimulation, and if they do not get it, they will become bored, stressed and often destructive – they are really not so unlike people. While working dogs need more exercise and longer walks than smaller breeds, even the tiniest terrier still needs to go out for a walk every day.

Featured Post: 5 Little things to look forward to this Spring

Now that the festive season is far behind us and the New Years celebrations a distant memory, we can get on with looking forward to the next season: Spring!

Whether you’re looking forward to a good Spring clean, clearing out those cupboards, donating old clothes to charity or treating yourself to some contemporary furniture from danetti.com one thing is certain: everyone loves Spring! Here, you’ll find a little list of things we can all look forward to as the weather warms up! Who knows, you might not even need your coat!

The weather and the days getting longer

This one is huge. After so many dark, cold nights we’re all lacking in a little vitamin D! Whether you’ve been heading to work in the dark and coming home in the dark or struggling to get the kids out of their dark bedrooms at 7am, a little bit of sunshine and warm weather is very welcome, and it’s been medically proven to be a great mood booster. Something we all need after the excitement of Christmas has been and gone.

The first flowers of spring

There’s nothing more heart warming then spotting a few dewdrop covered snow drops in the cold, hard ground. It’s a sign that winter is officially coming to an end. Soon to follow will be rows and rows of beautiful and bright daffodils, as well as crocuses and stunning tulips. Head to a local florist or supermarket and bring some into your home – avoid picking them if they’re growing wild. They are there for everyone to enjoy!

The leaves and blossom on the trees

We all love it when the leaves on the trees begin to turn orange and brown. But after several months of seeing nothing but skeletal tress with naked branches and boughs sometimes covered in snow and creaking in the winter wind, the idea of green leaves can seem like a distant memory! So, when the first flurries of blossom begin to grow, and the little buds of green begin to show on the branches it’s time to get excited!

Ditching that winter coat

When it gets to this time of year – it’s almost impossible to remember a time when you didn’t have to leave the house with a thick jumper, a coat, a scarf, gloves, hat and umbrella, not to mention getting all the kids wrapped up too! When the weather begins to turn, it’s so refreshing to be able to head straight out of the door and leave your coat and accessories behind! It usually means that getting the kids of out of the door is a little easier too!

Getting out your Spring wardrobe

With Spring on the way, you can say goodbye at last to those thick knitwear pieces, heavy jumpers and worn out cardigans! Head to the back of your wardrobe and say hello to those pretty spring dresses, lightweight leggings, ballet pumps, brogues and blouses!

What are you looking forward to now Spring is on the way?