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?

Dangers in the home you may have missed!

We all want to keep our children safe, from crossing the road, and the importance of not talking to strangers to eating sensibly and always wearing a helmet if they’re on their bike or scooter. But did you know that most accidents occur in home?

We’re all well aware of the basics like, keeping your sockets covered and making sure pan handles aren’t sticking over the edge of the stove and having things like a first aid box to hand and thick soft carpets ready to cushion a fall are a great place to start – visit discountflooring depot if you’re looking for new flooring solutions.

But, as parents we should always be on the lookout for danger, especially if it’s right under our noses!

Here you’ll find some of the other dangers in the home that you may have missed!

Photo frames

I’ll bet that there are plenty of photo frames on display in your living room, and of course there should be! But if your child is being a little bit too rambunctious and they knock over a frame and it shatters, the glass could easily cut your child. Always ensure frames are kept well out of reach and if possible, replace them with plastic ones!

Candles and matches

Everyone likes to create a little atmosphere at home from time to time. Whether you’re relaxing, creating a romantic mood, or you’ve just got a new candle and you’re filling your home with it’s gorgeous scents. It is entirely possible for a child or even a toddler to accidentally light a match, no matter how limited their motor skills are. The best solution is to completely remove the matches from the room and place them well out of sight.

If a candle is lit and the child knocks it over, the wax could burn them – or if they’re intrigued by the flame they could seriously burn themselves. It really isn’t worth the risk, so why not try some flameless LED candles instead?

Window blinds

A very scary but very real danger in many homes. A small child can very easily become entangled in the loop of a blind cord. In some cases, this has proved to be fatal. If you have blinds in your home, cut the loops immediately to remove the risk of asphyxiation. Or better still, invest in some cordless blinds or window coverings.

Your electricals

We know the importance of covering electrical outlets, but it’s just as important to switch any appliance off at the socket if you’re leaving it plugged in. Take your hairdryer for example – it’s very easy for a child to switch on – meaning that your child could easily burn themselves with the heat. In addition, if the hairdryer is switched on and left unattended near a curtain, or cushion it could start a fire before it has chance to cut out.

And always leave your straighteners out of reach when you’re done with them! We all know how painful burns can be!

10 Fun Activities to Do with the Kids This Winter

Winter can be a tricky time to be a parent. The weather is often poor, the days are short, and money can be a little bit tight after Christmas. So, what are you going to do with the kids at the weekend or during a half term? Well, here are ten fun activities you could try to stave off a serious case of cabin fever…

  1. Go on a treasure hunt

Fresh air is the perfect remedy for children who are feeling little cooped up, so head out into the great outdoors having devised a ‘treasure hunt’ of sorts. Make them a checklist of things to find, such as a spider’s web, a bird’s nest or a frost-laced leaf.

  1. Do some baking

Kids love to help in the kitchen, and getting them involved in a spot of baking is a great way to develop their confidence in the kitchen and start teaching essential life skills. Whip up a batch of muffins (they’re pretty forgiving if your little helpers are a bit heavy handed), or help them make some gooey chocolate chip cookies. Delicious!

  1. Walk along the beach

If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast (or want to bundle in the car for the weekend), why not head out to the seaside? A blustery winter’s walk on the seafront is great fun, and the kids will enjoy leaning into the wind and watching the waves crash on the shore. Treat yourselves to fish and chips after and remember to take photos to capture those happy memories.

  1. Build a snowman

With any luck winter brings a dusting of snow for the kids to enjoy, so if you happen to see any settling where you live, head straight out to build a snowman. Little ones might need some help to roll the snow, and children of all ages will love rummaging round the house for carrots, scarves and pieces of coal (or failing that, small potatoes) to make the snowman come to life. Just make sure you’ve kitted the kids out in warm stylish clothing before they play in the snow – a warm coat, a sturdy pair of wellies and a pair of gloves are essential items if they’re going to enjoy themselves.

  1. Make a winter campfire

Children love to watch a fire crackling as much as adults do, so why not build a winter campfire in your back garden? Be sure to build your fire safely, and then pull up chairs for some quality time as a family. You can swap stories, toast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate together.

  1. Build a fort

Remember how much you loved building forts when you were little? It’s a lovely thing to do with the kids, so sacrifice those just-washed bed sheets and drape them over the arms of the sofas. Pull in some pillows, add a string of battery-powered fairy lights and let the kids camp out there for the day. They can play games, eat their lunch in there and perhaps even take an afternoon nap…

  1. Play in the forest

It’s impossible to get our kids off their computer screens entirely, but you can certainly get them using their imaginations outdoors if you suggest a stroll through the forest. Encourage a bit of imaginary role play: wizard wands have been fashioned from many a twig, and a good branch doubles as a sword to do battle with any roaming dragons or bad guys…

  1. Have a dance party

Having a boogie round the house is a great way of exercising and improving everyone’s mood: no mean feat in the depths of winter! Find a good playlist, turn up the volume and encourage the kids to let loose. You can always throw a game of musical statues into the mix if you want to keep them at it for a little while longer.

  1. Host a film festival

There’s nothing nicer than being tucked up inside on a rainy winter’s day, so why not watch some films together? Add an extra element of fun by theming the films around food – a particularly good trick if you want to get your little ones to try a new dish. For instance, serve steaming bowls of ratatouille while watching the Ratatouille film, or tuck into spaghetti and meatballs while watching Lady and the Tramp.

  1. Get crafty

Finally, there are thousands of craft ideas to do with children if you look online, but one that’s particularly fun and requires little in the way of materials is this one. You’ll need basic supplies such as paper plates, paints, glue and elastic (all of which will be available at a well-stocked supermarket for instance), and so long as you don’t mind the kids making a bit of a mess, you’ll keep them entertained for hours.

So, which of these fun ideas will you be doing with the kids this winter? Let us know!

Featured Post: 5 Alternatives to Cars for Your Teenager

It wont be long before my eldest is a teenager, fortunately its a while yet until he will be old enough to drive. Many teenagers in the UK simply cant afford to own and drive their own car due mainly to the high cost of insurance. Its worth considering a different mode of transport to get them around town – any one of these alternative choices could be just what you are looking for.

1. Motorbikes

Used motorbikes are an economical choice for teens because they use up less gas on the road, saving you tons of cash that would have been used to keep a car going.  Interestingly, motorbikes are now often seen as being a safer mode of transportation than regular vehicles. This is due to the fact that teens and adults alike cannot text and drive at the same time. There is no way their attention can be diverted by a buzzing phone or noisy passengers; it is just them, the bike and the open road. Another advantage of motorcycles is the increased chance of developing better balance and coordination skills. Motorbikes are ideal for both short distance commutes, long distance travel and even off-road driving.

2. Mopeds

Mopeds are basically a smaller version of a motorcycle. They are far less ‘fast’ though and usually don’t go much faster than a normal bicycle. They are economically priced and require little fuel, which means that you have the chance to save a lot of money by using a moped to get you from point A to point B. In order to be able to drive a moped you will need a regular driving license but it is not necessary to have a motorcycle one.
One of the best aspects to owning a moped is its fast ability to find easy parking due to its small size and flexibility.

3. Electric Cycles

Electric cycles are handy motors to have because they can be used on the road and on bicycle lanes, which means that you can easily dodge past the long queue of traffic whenever you please. They come with a higher resale value and are supposed to take up less physical energy on the driver. According to www.atob.org.uk an electric bike can climb hills of 1:10 (10%) with ease and clear a maximum gradient of 1:7 (14%).

4. Electric Scooter

These are similar to electric bikes. They are plug-in electric vehicles that run on electric motors rather than using engines. This results in a quieter journey and because there are no vibrations during travel, the journey is incredibly smooth and peaceful which may appeal to teens. They are incredibly eco-friendly and with no vehicular emission, an electric scooter will give out less air pollution than other modes of transport.

5. Quad Bike

This option is more suited to teens who want to drive about off-road with friends or for the thrill. Quad bikes are basically four-wheeled motorbikes that are particularly popular in farms because of their versatile and tough nature. According to Gov.uk, you must have third party insurance to drive a quad bike on the road and you can only carry passengers if it is designed to do so and has the right number of seats. Although it is not compulsory to wear crash helmets, it is highly recommended.

I hope thats a useful summary of things to consider, I must admit i’m dreading the day when I have to start properly considering transport for my kids with three to cater for its going to cost us a fortune!

Featured Post: Your Chance to Become a Boots Points Millionaire!

boots millionaire pointsOne of the first ever loyalty card schemes I signed up to was from Boots. Its one of those schemes where the points mean that you can genuinely treat yourself. The card has a permanent place in my purse and as Boots is such a ubiquitous and useful shop on the high street it gets frequent action. I tend to go there for baby clothes (we love Mini Mode), make-up, hair products and dental stuff as they have such awesome choice, even in the smallest of seaside stores you can guarantee that you’ll find what you needed. I also like to pop in a grab a copy of their magazine which is always full of great tips. All in all its one of those shops which I couldn’t live without.

This summer there is even more of an incentive to pop in for some Calpol and come out with several new pairs of boys shorts, a new nail varnish, some sparkly mascara and some highlight enhancing shampoo (ahem). Boots are about to make someone a Points Millionaire (that’s £10,000 worth of points). All you need to do is follow these easy steps:

Boots Millionaire Points App


Boots challenged me to tell them how I’d spend a million Boots points and to be honest, it wasn’t really hard to agree to the challenge.

boots millionaire points

These are my choices:

Follow zooarchaeologist’s board boots points millionaire on Pinterest.
An electric toothbrush for the entire family (5!). I’ve got my eye on these Philips Sonicare ones.

We desperately need a new Fridge Freezer as the plastic on ours is cracking after 10 years of use. I’d pick another Bosch one as ours has given up brilliant service.

Any left over points would be used on a spree on clothing for little Ned who never gets anything new as he has his siblings hand-me downs. Throughout the years of having children Mini Mode clothing has been a bit of a mainstay, its well made with appropriate sizes and lasts and lasts.

I love to have decent makeup and as I have such bad skin that I need to use specialist make-up to prevent my acne rosacea getting worse. Recently I’ve discovered Clinique (as recommended by my skincare specialist doctor) and it seems very good, the only downside being that its quite expensive. With the points I’d stock up on a good supply and try out some of the rest of the range.

Alongside this to cover up my appalling skin I’d love to invest in some new eyeshadow, lipstick and mascara. I’m slightly ashamed to say that i’m using the same eyeshadow and lipstick that I had when I got married ten years ago so it would be a real treat to invest about £200 in an entirely new makeup set from Lancome.

One of those things which I really appreciate as a mum is a good bath and for a really indulgent treat I’d love to have some Molton Brown goodies. I particualrly fancy this pink body wash. Of course, if I became a points millionaire I might treat myself to the entire range, I mean wouldnt it be fabulous to wash your hands in some luxury soap every time you visited the loo!

One of the other things which I really need as I use everyday is a decent hairdryer. This Panasonic one looks ideal.

Its nice to have a record of those moments when you look truely fabulous and after all this pampering there is no reason why you shouldnt. So, I think i’d treat myself to a lovely new digital SLR camera. I’m a fan of Nikon camera’s and I just LOVE this colour which makes the camera stand out from the usual black ones.

With all this lovely stuff to choose from I think its important to treat others and one of the first things I’d chose is this lovely Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream which is an indulgent treat and perfect as a small gift.

Obviously I’d take my mum on a much bigger spree in store and I suspect that as she likes Marc Jacobs perfume she might have her eye on this Oh, Lola Eau de Parfum which is currently on special offer.

It’s quick and easy to take part – all you have to do is download the Boots App (if you don’t already have it), then go to ‘my offers’ between 3rd July and 4th August -then check back on 19th August to see what you’ve been treated to!

If you want some more inspiration Boots are making a big throne out of the products you could buy with a million Boots points. Its going to be at selected stores and if you follow me on Twitter I will be telling you where.