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Beginners guide – foot golf

Foot golf

Beginners guide – foot golf

Some of you may not have heard by now, but there’s a new craze sweeping the nation and its name is foot golf. If the name didn’t give it away: it’s a combination between the sports golf and football that involves kicking a ball around a golf course in the same way you would play a round of golf. Have a look at some of the rules and regulations of the game and see if you’d like to have a game sometime.

Mark your ball
Your ball must be easy to identify as yours, otherwise it’s going to cause confusion and potentially cause arguments about who’s ball is closer to the green. You can do this by investing in a colourful ball, but then, you could achieve the same effect by simply marking your ball with a marker pen with your initials – or a smiley face if you’re so inclined.

Dress the part
You might think that you could get away with wearing football boots with studs for a sport like this, but you’d be wrong. Only golf apparel is appropriate for an occasion such as this, from the flat cap on the head to the golf cleats on your feet. Making golfing clubs will turn you away for not having the correct gear so don’t assume footgolf centres will be any less strict. Some Under Armour golfing gear might just do the trick.

foot golf

Every touch counts as a shot
Your foot must be removed from the ball at all times, unless you’re taking your shot that is. The ball is played in a single movement, so those of you that might want to chip it out of a bunker, you’ll have to be a bit more skilful than just scooping your foot on the underside of the ball.

Only shoot once the ball has stopped
It might be tempting to boot the ball closer to the green as you see it rolling dangerously closer to a hazard, but it’s against the rules we’re afraid. There are exceptions however, as you can stop your ball if it is obviously rolling due to the wind.

foot golf

Play foot golf where you lie
You aren’t permitted to move the ball at any time, so if you’re facing an obstruction or the ball is wedged into something, we’re afraid you’re just going to have to play through it. You can make a mark of where your ball has fallen and then take it off the playing field if your ball will interfere with another foot golfer’s shot – but you’ll have to put it right back on the mark later.

Water hazards carry a penalty
Should you be unlucky enough for that your ball ends up going for a swim during game time, you have two options. Option one: you retake the shot from your last marker. Option two: you retrieve/replace your ball and take the shot two stops from the closest point on land. Both options come with a single penalty point to your scorecard.

If you like the sound of a game of Foot golf, there are plenty of centres located around the country. Click here to view the range of UK courses.

Does this sound like something your family may wish to try?

 

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Making Your House Feel Cosy

making your house feel cosy

Making Your House Feel Cosy

 

Making your house feel cosy is the easiest and best way to make your property feel like home, whether your motivation is the winter months setting in, a new house or maybe just a desire to do something new to your decor.  To create a cosy and homely feel does not necessarily have to cost you too much or take up too much time, in fact you might find you already have everything you need to make your property just that little bit cosier than before. Here are some of the many ways you can revitalise your room with a cosy decor, which or how many of these you choose to use is completely up to you:

9 Ways Of Revitalising Your Home:

  1. Buy some throws and blankets and place these around your home, you could place them over the back of sofas or chairs or you could even hang them on display. If you do use this idea, think about the current fabric trends of 2016, we are seeing the return of tie dyed fabrics, textured fabrics and bold colours are also popular this year.
  2. Re-light your fire. Nothing is cosier than a nice warm fire with its soothing glow and comforting heat, most fires now can be turned on without actually heating up, creating the cosy feel without making you too hot, use this feature whenever you are home and want to cosy-up with the family.
  3. Re-paint walls to a darker colour, something like chocolate-brown or a charcoal grey would be perfect, use lighter colours such as white and cream to break-up the dark colours and lighten the room, otherwise it may be too dark.
  4. Add plenty of family photographs and portraits to the room, hang these on walls and add frames to mantle pieces, even consider adding some black and white or sepia effect photographs, i.e. pictures with an old feel.
  5. Add rugs, even consider putting rugs on top of rugs. Layering like this instantly creates a cosy feel, as does rolling a rug out onto the floor, this is especially perfect for anyone with hard-wood or laminated flooring.
  6. Plants and nature are always a good way to make a home feel cosier. Consider adding some potted plants or even fill some glass bowls with some soil and plants to create a ‘nature terrarium’.
  7. Transform one wall by covering it completely with a curtain instead of painting or wallpapering it, this will make the room instantly warmer and cosier. This works perfectly in bedrooms.
  8. Add a comfortable chair in the bedroom, this will bring the sitting room into the bedroom and tempt you to curl up in the chair and make the most of the room. For the icing on the cake, think of adding a warm and comfortable looking blanket over the back of the chair.
  9. Include hanging fairy lights into your interior design, even if it is not Christmas. These usually work the best in a bedroom however, if you place them right hanging fairy lights can be used all year round in any room to make it feel a little bit cosier.

You do not need to do all of these things, just start by implementing one and keep going until you feel like your house is finally as cosy as you’d like it to be.

 

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7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

7 summer party ideas

7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

Summer – for all its joyous warmth and opportunities to finally get outside and make the most of being alive – presents something of a challenge for parents. With the kids off school for a significant chunk of the season, keeping them amused isn’t always that straightforward.

 

When the temperature rises, the desire to party increases, and this could actually be the key to keeping your kids busy and out of trouble this summer. Thankfully, there are a tonne of themes and ideas you can choose from.

 

In this post, we’ve picked out 7 brilliant summer party ideas for kids.

 

A great British bake-off

The UK is gripped with baking fever and what better way to take advantage of this than to host a bake-off themed party for the kids? They’ll love getting their hands dirty and by introducing a competitive element (best cupcake, tallest cookie tower, for example), you can keep them engaged with the promise of prizes.

There are plenty of recipes for kids to choose from online and in most baking books, so grab the ingredients and let them take over the kitchen!

 

Pirates!

No matter how many Playstation or iPad games they have to hand, kids still love good, old-fashioned party fun and there are few ways to get them more excited than by throwing a pirate bash.

Pirate hats, eye patches, plastic hooks and parrots can all be purchased relatively cheaply from costume shops and the addition of a scavenger hunt for sweets and other goodies will have them amused for hours.

 

Real-life Angry Birds

The incredibly popular Angry Birds game centres around the process of flinging small objects at large obstacles, breaking them down in stages. Kids love it on-screen, but we think you can go one further than that this summer.

You can hold your own Angry Birds-themed party by using mini bean bags as the birds (or Angry Birds toys, if you have them to hand) and old cardboard boxes, magazines and empty bottles for the obstacles. Kids will love playing a real-life version of their favourite video game.

 

Make a splash

If it gets particularly hot, a brilliant kids party theme involves two very simple ingredients: balloons and water.

Simply fill a bunch of balloons with water and tell the kids to take turns in bashing them with a plastic bat or cardboard tube, piñata-style. It’ll provide endless entertainment as they all desperately avoid trying to get soaked (even though we all know they’ll love it when it happens).

 

Painting party

Give your mini Picasso’s the opportunity to demonstrate their creative side by placing large canvases or sheets of paper in the back garden and giving them a bunch of colourful paints. Better still, introduce a summery theme to really get their creative juices flowing.

 

Tough little mudder

Kids love getting muddy, and when the weather is nice, there’s no better time to allow them to indulge in this messy past time. Better still, you can make an event out of it by setting up a muddy obstacle course at the local park.

A string maze, oversized cardboard boxes as tunnels and treasure hunt finale will tap into their primeval sense of fun.

 

Slip and slide

Another water-themed summer party idea bound to get the kids excited is a DIY slip and slide in the back garden. All you need is a long, heavy-duty drop cloth staked to the ground, a few buckets and plenty of water. You can then watch – and, probably join in – the slippery wet fun that unfolds.

 

We’ve attempted to keep the party ideas above low-cost (or free) and simple to set up, but, most importantly, they should be easy to clean up afterwards! Make the most of the summer this year by treating the kids to a few of these brilliant summer party ideas.

 

Do you have any fun summer party ideas that you would like to share?

 

 

 

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Planning School Holidays Early

Home lifestyle

Planning School Holidays Early

As a full-time working mother to three children, every moment we spend together as a family is precious. So when half-term holidays come around and Ian manages to get some time off work too – we have to make the most of it. So with a good few weeks to go we have started planning school holidays early and drawing up the inevitable what to do list including another camping getaway or a repeat visit to Clacton, since the kids love the arcades, we love the penny casino and spread betting games and it’s been a long-standing family favourite.

So we jumped on the computer and with what we found, decided to draw up a list of the best ones we found so we could make a decision later. Last year was a bit manic around March/April with the kids doing different things and Bradley getting sunburned but this year we were determined to think of something to do that we could do as a family and here’s what we came up with:

1)  Another camping adventure like the one we are planning to do in Europe. While this has plenty of positives, the reason we had planned to do this in Summer was that it would give us more time to explore so this may not be the best option for now owing to the long drive.

2)  A theme park seems to be a common choice but since we have just been to Chessington and last Easter Lee went to Thorpe Park – this seems a bit repetitive

3)  Cinema seems to be a popular choice as well but that doesn’t really take up too much of our holidays and leaves a lot of extra time so maybe that’s good for a filler but not really an entire vacation

4)  London tends to be a popular choice for most and there are a quite a few suggestions as to what people can do over the half-term break when they’re there. A trip to the aquarium in the day followed by a visit to the Shard where Bradley can take some photos is on our list already and there’s plenty more to do should we go.

As you can tell from the list above we have a lot of thinking to do as while London seems like the most opportune one for now, there’s probably a ton more out there that the kids and us can come up with. Just keep checking back on our blog to find out what we’re actually going to go with and maybe offer some of your own suggestions if you have some good ones to share.

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Panasonic Favourites

panasonic favourites

Panasonic Favourites

Our teen has recently decorated his box room in to a teen-style bedroom and it is coming together nicely. Having a box room doesn’t mean you can’t still have all the things you love and enjoy in your room does it?

Our teen has been making a list of all the things he would like to have in his room, styling it with a stereo being the top of his list. He has been shopping around and searching the internet trying to find the ‘perfect’ one. Apparently he doesn’t want one that’s too big but yet he wants one that’s got a good sound quality plus a good bass to it.

On his search he has found Panasonic to have a good selection and the ones that have caught his eye these two but he’s now stuck for choice.

panasonic favourites

Our teen likes choice A, this is a Panasonic SC-PMX100BEB high-resolution Hi Fi system, with multi-room functionality. This would give him a choice of cd or DAB/FM radio too. Teen likes that it is small in size yet gives off the sound he’s looking for.

Or there is choice B

panasonic favourites

Our teen likes choice B, this is one of Panasonic wireless speakers SC-ALL2EB. This is a very clever device that can work from your smart device. You can stream your favourite online radio stations, it has bluetooth connectivity, has 6 preset buttons and one touch playback, it seamlessly connects to all players. It also works as a music alarm, digital music collection or subscription services straight from the smart device. This speaker system is stylish, powerful and convenient, you can even pair up two of these for stereo pairing.

Our teen is not sure which of his Panasonic favourites he likes the best, he is really stuck for choice. Which would you say?

 

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Tech-Free Days

tech-free days

Tech-Free Days

I think we all find it hard to put down the mobile phone, step away from the tablet and avoid the hypnotic draw of the TV. Being away from technology is such a good thing for your mind and your body so why aren’t we pushing this more with our children and enjoy the benefits of tech-free days?

Tech-free days are extremely beneficial to give your little (or not so little) ones the time away from bright screens, distracting beeping and addictive games, plus the stress that comes with a life lead through social media. This is even more worrying in teenagers, especially with night-time use, as discussed in this article from the Guardian.

But worry not, as we’ve got some top tips to banishing tech (just for a little while) and encouraging your children to interact with the family and the world around them…

Tech-free days

Quality family time

A great rule that will ease you into this introduction to family life is: no-tech at the dinner table.

Your family mealtimes may be as short as half an hour or as long as two hours, but this simple step will give your children a small break from tech so that they can take part in real discussions with their nearest and dearest. Quality family time may seem like a bit of a bore to them, especially if their friends are playing games online or frantically messaging on WhatsApp, but establishing this staple in your home will bring you that little bit closer.

Getting back to basics

When was the last time you saw your child reading a book? In this instance, Kindle books do count but it would be better if it was an actual book to fit the no-tech theme!

Getting back to basics simply means that you should encourage your children to spend some of their time enjoying activities that you did as a child. Such as reading a book, playing outside, enjoying some quiet time colouring in, playing cards or taking part in a family board game.

If you have children that range in age significantly, then you may need to find different activities to match their specific age bracket. This might also involve separating the children into different rooms, so one can read a book in peace while another can play table tennis or give you a run for your money on the miniature pool table! A great way to divide rooms as and when needed is with internal folding doors. With very little effort, you can turn a large living/dining room into two separate spaces for different functions.

Resting the eyes

Bright screens and games can leave the eyes feeling tired and sore if overused. This article discusses the dangers of too much screen time for children and also offers up some advice on recommended periods of time that should be allowed depending on the child’s age.

Making the bedroom a tech-free zone will also help to give your child a good night’s sleep, every night. Mobile phones should be placed in a drawer on silent for bedtime, tablets turned off and out of sight and there should be a strict no TV rule for an hour before they go to sleep.

Keeping the bedroom free of all distractions keeps your children in tune with what the bedroom is for: sleeping.  

Social media

Although social media has only really been around for a decade, it has changed the way most people live their lives and interact with each other. Being a child in 2016 now means having several social media profiles, having several of your pictures online and the pressure to document your life through one of the many social tools available:

Tech-Free days

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Vine

The list goes on for the benefits of tech-free days…

Wouldn’t it be better for your child to actually meet up with their friends instead of FB messaging them? How about a trip out to the beach or the local park that doesn’t involve a selfie, checking in to the local McDonald’s and spending the time filtering your photos ready for Instagram?

Tech-free days

For the very young children, this won’t be as much of an issue but their introduction to social media will mark their entrance into a world that encourages every movement to be documented. Is it not the job of a parent to delay that for as long as possible?
Tech-free days will do so much to helping your children to have a rest break from social media, TV, games and internet browsing. It will encourage more quality family time, will help them to discover the joys of getting back to basics and will help them to interact with the world around them, not just the world from their mobile phone.

 

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Care Home Support

care home support

Care Home Support

Being a support worker I come across many of families who struggle day in/day out to deliver the care and support for their loved one. I have seen first hand how heartbreaking this can be for them admitting that they need care home support.

People struggle to care for loved ones for many of reasons, this can be due to ill-health themselves, loved ones needing more specialist care than they can deliver, round the clock care needed and so on. Making the decision to put a loved one into a care home can be utterly heartbreaking and extremely difficult.

I have been into families who have all agreed that when a health condition reaches a certain point then that will be the time to look for care home support for their loved one. I have also been into families who have really struggled to accept extra support is needed, it is a heartbreaking situation to come to terms with and it takes time to accept what is happening to a loved one.

Things to consider when looking for care home support

Type of care required – There are many different types of care homes, make sure you check the home caters for your loved ones required needs.

Location – Try and keep your loved one as close to home as possible, that way friends and family can still visit and provide additional support. This will also prevent your loved one from feeling isolated.

Shortlist – Once you have an understanding of the type of care required and the best location for your loved one, start a shortlist to work from of the local care homes.

Quality & standards – Once you have chosen the care homes for your shortlist take some time to look at the reviews of the homes, have a good read through the ones you are considering. Reading through the reviews will help highlight any concerns.

Visit – Once you have shortlisted the homes and read the reviews the next step would be to visit any homes chosen. Take the time to visit these homes, take time to have a good look around, speak with the manager explain your loved ones needs and ask if they can meet these needs, speak with staff, meet the residents, ask their family their thoughts of the home. Try to not rush this stage as it is an important decision to make, most of all do not be made to feel rushed, do not be forced into making a rushed decision, discuss the process with your loved one if they are able to understand, make them feel apart of what is happening, after all it is about their future.

Cost – Once everyone is agreed and you have chosen the care home you feel is the right one for your loved ones needs, this just then leaves the matter of cost. You may be entitled to help with this so it is always best to ask and look in to this. It is always good to ask for a print out of a break down of what care your loved one will receive for the quoted price, this helps to clear up any confusion.

Chosing the best care home for a loved one can be extremely hard, especially when you hear so much about neglect in care homes. Please don’t feel rushed or pressured into something you are not 100% comfortable with, take the time needed.

 

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Girls Holiday Essentials

girls holiday essentials

Girls Holiday Essentials

Packing for a holiday can be an ultimate nightmare, I am always being told that I pack far too much in my suitcase when we go abroad but girls holiday essentials are important….right?

One of our best investments was luggage scales, these have saved us loads of times from being caught for extra luggage costs. Having these and pre-weighing our cases has helped speed things up at the airport, saved us money on extra luggage costs and also saved us the embarrassment on having over weight cases.

A girl needs her holiday essentials

Shoes – Ian laughs at me when I try to explain a girl can never have too many shoes. Well they are crucial and help complete the look. I will admit I do have rather a few pairs, but unless I want to face extra costs at the airport I will have narrow it down to 3 pairs, day shoes, flip-flops and evening shoes.

Swimwear – Fun in the pool with the kid’s when on holiday is a MUST, we have so much fun together on the water slides so making sure my swimwear is packed is definitely a must. The kid’s always check mine is packed so I have no chance of forgetting.

Sun protectionThere is nothing worse than getting sun burnt when on holiday, it can be painful and can sometimes ruin a good holiday. Making sure sun glasses, sun hats and sunscreen is packed is high priority. There is nothing worse than looking like a lobster.

Summer clothesYes I spend ages when it comes to looking for holiday clothes, I look in local shops, in catalogs, even online. I always like new clothes to take with me. However I always try to not go overboard, I try and purchase lightweight clothes that are not to bulky when folded, that way I get to pack more clothes……well a girl likes to look her best, especially when on holiday.

Beauty productsThis is one thing that drives the men in my house crazy, the amount of products I like to take with me when we go on our holidays. They laugh and say they take up a suitcase on their own. I can never get on with hotel hair dryers so I like to take my own, then there is my hair straighteners, make-up, sprays, moisturisers, brushes, body wash & bathroom bits, tooth-brush, make-up removers, perfumes, shower products and so on. I have found travel bottles/pots a fantastic space saver!

Ian laughs at me and say’s my case is the bottomless case….well a girl can never pack too much when going away, right girls?

When you think how many products we use every day, it all mounts up as we find out when limited to space and a weight limit.

Extra accessories 

Bags – beach bag, day bag and don’t forget an evening bag.

Camera – well you can’t go on holiday without taking any photos can you?

Chargers – for iPad, phone and the camera.

Adaptors – we got caught out one year and was not impressed when we couldn’t charge our phones.

Insect repellent – best to be prepared.

Travel guides – arrive prepared.

Tickets/travel documents – always have them to hand, saves fighting your case in public looking for them.

Passports – always keep an eye on your expiry date, they have a way of sneaking up on you.

Medication – making sure I have any medication needed for the time scale I am away.

Travel entertainment – I always go armed with a good magazine for the journey and an up-to-date music collection on my phone along with my earphones, I refresh my memory and have another read of the travel guides of where we are heading and plan the fun ready for our arrival.

Yes I have to sit on my case as I never want to leave anything behind.

 

 

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Mother’s Day

mother's day

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day fastly approaching – 6th March to be precise.  It’s a day we all love to spend showing our mums just how special they are along with how much they mean to us. My ideal mother’s day is to just simply have a lovely relaxing day off from EVERYTHING, NO cooking, NO cleaning, breakfast in bed followed by a lovely family day…..perfect!

Other mums on the other hand may picture Mother’s Day to be completely different, we all have our ideal perfect Mother’s Day, some enjoy a lovely day off and be waited on while others are happy to carry on as a normal day.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to be a celebrity mum and live a celebrity lifestyle?

Who’s lifestyle would you like to have if you had the choice?

We all follow a celebrity for all different reasons, it could be because:

  1. They play in a band you enjoy listening to.
  2. You love their style/fashion trend.
  3. They are an actress in your favourite TV programme.
  4. They support your chosen charity.

The list is endless, you could look up to someone for many of reasons.

Would you like some Mother’s Day fun? if so here is a fun quiz to take with my voucher codes to find out which celebrity you are.

Which celebrity mom are you?

mothers day

Guess who I came out as? Mine came out as Gisele Bundchen and said:

“Head of the family and despite being busy with commitments family time is the most important time for me. Work hard to provide for my children so they want for nothing.”

Spot on!

We hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday however you spend your day.

X

Did you take the quiz? who did you get?

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Surviving Winter

surviving winter

Surviving Winter

Surviving winter can be done in many of ways, we find the winter months rather cosy. There is nothing better than snuggling up under a blanket or duvet with a lovely hot drink and watching films. This is one of our all time favourite things to do as a family during the winter on a wet rainy day.

Our favourite things to help keep us warm in winter are:

  1. Cosy winter socks – Keeping your feet warm helps to keep the rest of your body warm.
  2. Thermals – Extra warm layers will help to keep you feeling warm when out in the cold.
  3. Favourite blanket – We love to snuggle up with our favourite blankets and watch our favourite films, keep warm and relax.
  4. Hot chocolate – When coming in from the cold our favourite hot drink is a lovely hot chocolate.
  5. Hot water bottle – Helps to keep us warm whilst watching tv or even in bed whilst sleeping.
  6. Homemade soup – Our favourite lunch on a cold winters day.
  7. Electric heat – Such as electric radiator, fire or electric blanket for extra warmth.
  8. Winter boots – Nice warm boots to help keep our feet warm on a frosty day.
  9. DVDs – When it’s just too cold and wet to go out, snuggle up with a warm blanket, hot drink and watch a good film.
  10. Hot bubble bath – Relax in a lovely hot bubble bath…..bliss!

We are not fans of the cold weather but it is something that we all have to cope with. Having these favourite item to help us tackle these cold days makes it that bit more bearable to deal with. Lee works on our local market and braves the weather come wind, rain or sunshine, when surviving winter months he definitely makes sure he’s winter ready to brave the cold.

What helps you cope with the horrid cold days?

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