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Is It Time to Move? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Is It Time to Move? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself
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Even if you love everything about your house, there might come the point where you feel compelled to move. Even though you can’t put your finger on why you want to move, you believe that it is now or never. Moving home, however, can be stressful and expensive, and it could disrupt a life that doesn’t need disrupting. If you find yourself browsing available properties all over the country, ask yourself these four questions before deciding on anything concrete. 

Are You Ready to Move or Just Bored?

Sometimes, you just feel bored with your home and the area. You feel you’ve done everything, and there is nothing that inspires joy any longer. This, however, is no reason to move house. Instead, you can consider ways to get that joy back. A renovation is a great place to start, and you use Buddy Loans or crowdfunding to make this possible. Renovating or extending your home will give you more space while also making the house feel new all over again, giving you the warm, fuzzy feeling you had when you first moved in. 

Can You Afford to Miss Anything? 

If you have built a life around this home, then there is a chance you will miss more than you expect. You might miss your favourite chippy, or if your kids have grown up and moved out but still live local, you could miss your grandchildren. If they are still living at home, you must consider how a move could affect them. It doesn; ‘t seem fair to uproot your entire life on a whim and tear them away from their friends. When thinking about moving house, it’s not all about you, so consider everyone else in the house. 

What Is Going to Change? 

Your move should be for positive reasons. Maybe you are moving for work and more opportunities; perhaps you want to move to a safer neighbourhood to raise your kids. Perhaps the cost of living is more affordable, or the schools are better. These are decent reasons for you to move home. But, if your only reason for moving is that you’re bored or you feel like it without the potential for much to change at all, it’s best to stay put. 

Is It Practical?

Even if you know there’s nothing you will miss, and you are moving for the right reasons, that doesn’t mean your dream of moving can come to fruition. There are plenty of practical issues that arise from moving home, including affordability and whether it could disrupt your life entirely. A move is stressful whether it’s across the country or the world, so if you have to move, maybe it’s best to wait until you can afford it and life is a little calmer. 

Decision Time

Moving house can give you the refreshed feeling that you had when you first moved into your current property. But it’s not good to chase that feeling whenever you feel bored or tired with the same four walls. As with any significant decision, you must consider alternatives and work out all the fine details to make sure that it is something worth doing and will benefit everybody, not just you!

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Save Your Dogs From Themselves This Spring Season

Save Your Dogs From Themselves This Spring Season
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Springtime normally brings out the fun side in everyone. After long months of rain, wind and snow, we’re finally back out into green fields, bountiful meadows and enjoying the sunshine. Our pets especially feel invigorated and want to run as fast as they can, while chasing butterflies. But, sadly, it’s not all fun and games because springtime does have a few hazards waiting for our pets. Although the majority of them are far from serious, some of them can transpire into larger issues that we hope never to deal with. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there to avoid suffering through any of them.

Harmful flowers

Cats and dogs love to chew on flowers during this time of year. They are bright and they are juicy. They love to eat some flowers because the petals are filled with sugars. However, the bulbs of some flowers are toxic and can make your pet vomit or suffer from diarrhoea. Watch out for flowers such as daffodils, bluebells, cyclamens, lilies and azaleas to name but a few. It can cause your pets to have sudden convulsions if there were to ingest one of the bulbs. You should keep an eye on what your cat is doing in your garden and when you go for a walk with your dog, make sure you’re telling them to stop when they bite at flowers. Sometimes, our pets have to be saved from themselves.

Springing into action

Part of what makes spring so bright and beautiful is the countless living things that spring into action, all at the same time. It’s almost as if they are working in unison, on the same schedule and it’s a wonderful melee of action. However, during the spring, parasites are out in force as well. Particularly, fleas, as they begin to lay up to 50 eggs a day on any living creature they can find. That’s why you need to see this link, whereby you can buy a tasty chew treat, which battles an array of parasites from mites, fleas, ticks, heart-worms and other worms that fester in the digestive system. It will help to limit and control secondary conditions that will make your dog feel lethargic and off his or her appetite.

Stick to trails

If you’re a man or woman of the country, you will need to stick to the walking trails when you’re out with your dog. Poison ivy is one of the worst things your dog can come into contact with. If they eat it, expect to see excessive drool, convulsions and vomiting. If your dog rubs up against poison ivy, he or she will be driven mad with itchiness, causing them to roll around on the ground uncontrollably. Look out for the signs of ivy, it’s a very thick, dark green leaf which can be mistaken for something harmless. If your dog is affected by it, bathe them in a shampoo with oatmeal to calm the inflammation.

Springtime is a joyous season, where life makes leaps and bounds once again. But beware your dog doesn’t go crazy with excitement and does themselves more harm than good. 

Collaborative post, Vehicle

Everything you need to know about car tax

Everything you need to know about car tax
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As if there weren’t enough costs that came with buying a vehicle, another one people often forget to include is paying for vehicle tax.

Car tax is compulsory for any vehicle on the road in the UK, and if your vehicle isn’t on the road then you will need to ensure you have declared it SORN (Statuary Off Road Notification) instead. Without valid tax on your vehicle you could face a fine of up to £1000. But there are several things you need to be aware of when it comes to purchasing tax to make sure you aren’t left with the nasty shock of a large payment. You can view a comprehensive guide by visiting this link.

What is VED?

Another name for car tax is Vehicle Exercise Duty, and this is the tax that most vehicles on the roads in the UK must pay. The money spent by drivers on tax is usually put towards government development of roads and transport across the country.

There are several different factors that affect the amount you pay on vehicle tax, with the most important being how environmentally friendly your car is. Any vehicle that has been registered after 2001 pays tax based on its CO2 emissions, which means that diesel drivers often have a hefty sum to pay.

On the other hand, drivers using a fully electric vehicle will not have to pay tax as they create zero emissions. Additionally, vehicles more than 40 years old also do not have to pay car tax, regardless of the negative impact they may have on the environment.

Buying a vehicle after 1 st April 2017

In recent years, there have been changes to the system. If you buy a vehicle that has been registered after the 1 st of April 2017 then the first year you will pay car tax based on the vehicle’s CO2 emission. From then on, you will be paying a flat rate of £145 if you have a petrol or diesel vehicle, and £135 if you drive a hybrid vehicle.

It is also important to note that if you purchase a vehicle that has a value over £40,000 then the flat rate after the first year rises to £320 and continues at this rate for 5 years. Be cautious, as even if you are given a discount at the dealership and the price of the vehicle drops below £40,000, you will still have to pay the higher sum on the car tax.

Vehicles registered before 1 st March 2001

Additionally, there are also differences in payment if your vehicle was registered before the 1 st of March 2001. Any vehicle manufactured before this date has a much easier taxation system and cost is measured on the size of the engine. For example, if your engine size is below 1549cc then you pay £155 a year, anything above then you are charged £255.

Buying and selling a vehicle

When buying or selling a car, the tax cannot be transferred over, it’s as simple as that. One things that often proves difficult is buying a vehicle, as you are unable to drive until you have taxed it. This means you’ll have to tax it yourself before driving off.

When it comes to selling a vehicle, you will need to notify the DVLA and send them the relevant part of your V5C (logbook) or you could face a fine of up to £1000. When this process has been completed, any outstanding money that has been paid on the tax will be refunded, or if you pay by direct debit, the payments will be stopped.

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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!



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, seeing as the kids love the arcades.

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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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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Collaborative post, Winter

Surviving Winter

surviving winter

Surviving The Horrid Winter Months

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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