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Winter

4 Tips For Making Your Home Winter-Ready

4 Tips For Making Your Home Winter-Ready

The passage of linear time has been hard to track this year, for obvious reasons, but it won’t have been lost on anyone that nights are drawing in. The days are getting colder, and there is more likely to be some rain to deal with too. Although our arrangements for the holiday season might be different in 2020, many of us are at least beginning to make those arrangements, and though we can’t say that winter has truly begun, it’s certainly on the way.

This year, more than any other, the importance of making your home ready for the colder months is inescapable. Many of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future, and even those who can’t do that may yet find themselves unable to travel to work, so it’s vital that your house is prepared for the encroaching colder days and nights, and the darker evenings that we’re now beginning to experience.

Check your windows from the outside

You may well be of the opinion that there isn’t a draught in your house, and you might be right. It’s also possible that there wasn’t a draught last year, but the passage of time has taken its toll and now there is cold air getting into your house. You wouldn’t have noticed it in summer, but as the days grow colder, you surely will. Draughts are most likely to get in around windows and doors – anywhere in your home where there is a join, in all honesty. So it makes sense to take a bit of time one morning to go around the exterior of your house.

As you move around, look at any gaps in the mortar, and in particular around any openings. The aforementioned windows and doors are important, but vents and other such interruptions to the brickwork should be monitored – and if there is space for air to get in, it should be patched up with a caulking gun. This may not eliminate all draughts, but it can certainly limit the impact they have on your comfort throughout winter. 

Clear out the gutters

By now, much of the leaf fall we are likely to see this autumn will have already happened, but there is some still to come. Now is a very good time to check the gutters around the roof of your home, and clear out any fallen leaves. The longer that leaf mulch sits in your gutters, the more rain it collects, and the more prone it becomes to freezing solid when the temperature dips below zero. This can cause permanent damage to the gutter which will require expensive repairs to make good again.

Ensure that your heating – and hot water – work as they should

It used to be essential to have hot water from taps in your house, for washing up, showering and a range of other purposes. As time has passed, appliances that need to use hot water can increasingly heat it themselves, and are plumbed into the cold water supply – and frugal people are engaged in a battle of wills as to who will be the last to turn the household heating on. That’s all well and good, but it means we’re often late to find out about faults in our hot water and heating throughout the house.

It’s vitally important to check that these essentials are functioning; you quite simply will not want to be washing your hands in cold water this winter (and, thanks to the pandemic, you need to wash your hands all the more right now). If you need any repairs to be run, you can book them in with the likes of localplumber-uk.com before the winter rush begins, and can then be confident of a steady supply of hot water and household heating that will see you through the coldest months of the year.

One last tip: lots of blankets!

We all know how cold it can become in winter, and if you are working from home the concern may well be that you need to heat the house more because you are there for longer. As far as possible, it is best to avoid turning the heating on unless it is absolutely necessary. Instead, have plenty of warm blankets which you can wrap around yourself to stay warm, only deploying the household heating if it gets seriously cold.

Making your house winter-ready is a vital step to take before winter itself has fully descended. You’ll be glad you took the above measures when you look back in January and see how much you have benefitted.

health, Winter

Keep warm: Be prepared

Keep warm: Be prepared

Do you hibernate like me when the weather is bad. I hate the cold and I’m always looking for ways to keep warm. Being cold can really takes its toll eventually so its best to protect ourselves the best we can from the dip in temperatures. Being a support worker and looking after the elderly in the community I am always looking for the best ways to help keep them warm. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm during the cold spell.

Ten top tips on keeping warm if going out.

  1. Have something hot to eat and drink before setting out on your journey and also drink plenty whilst out to keep your insides warm.
  2. Layer up. There is nothing worse than not dressing appropriately for the weather.
  3. Wear wool as wool retains the heat.
  4. Carry a hot water bottle with you if you can. Pocket hand warmers are also good.
  5. Wear a hat, gloves and a scarf to help protect you from the cold.
  6. Avoid getting wet the best you can. Wear waterproof clothing. There is nothing worse than having to wear wet clothes all day.
  7. Keep moving and avoid standing around too long. Try and use good grip shoes/boots for safety!
  8. If you can, always try and carry a change of footwear and socks to change in to.
  9. Check travel arrangements before leaving. Check transport times etc so you’re not left hanging around in the cold. Always keep in touch with a friend or relative in extreme conditions and/or travelling a distance. It then saves them from unnecessary worry.
  10. In extreme weather conditions carry any urgent/needed medication with you in case of emergency/road closures etc. it’s always best to be prepared. Always carry any needed chargers to keep gadgets charged so you can keep in contact with friends and family. If travelling via car, blankets and a flask of soup always come in handy in an emergency. Also write down any important numbers and keep them safe, just in case your mobile goes flat and you are unable to charge it.

Ten tips on keeping warm when indoors

  1. Put the heating on. Homes should be at the temperature of at least 18°C. Check if you are eligible for help with heating costs (link below), no one should be scared to have their heating on, especially on cold winter days.
  2. Have extra blankets to hand and hot water bottles.
  3. Block any drafts around doors and windows.
  4. Keep windows and vents closed.
  5. Check radiators are working properly. You may have one or two that may need bleeding. Move away any furniture obstructing the heat from the radiator.
  6. Layer up, several thin layers work better. Wool and/or fleece preferably.
  7. Hot regular drinks to keep your insides warm.
  8. Keep active and this will help you to keep warm. Batch cook some meals, bake a cake or even some biscuits, that way your near the oven for extra warmth too.
  9. Have a hot soak in the bath.
  10. Eat well, this will help keep your body warm. Also helps to fight off any winter germs – homemade soups are a good choice.

Be prepared: 

  1. Have a good stock of flu medications at home.
  2. Check your home is insulated properly before the winter months. This will also help keep the fuel bills down.
  3. Speak with your GP about a flu jab.
  4. Check windows and doors for drafts before winter.
  5. Check if your entitled to a cold weather payment, it doesn’t hurt to check and every penny helps.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather and stock up on your shopping, saves going out if no need in the bad weather.
  7. Check on your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.
  8. Prepare/protect your pipes for the winter months.
  9. Be prepared for power cuts caused by storms. Candles, batteries etc. Have them in a place ready to grab that all household members know.
  10. Give your car if you have one a winter check.

What are your favorite items to help keep you warm on a cold winters day? >>here are ours<<

Always check on elderly neighbours and relatives. Make sure they are warm and have all they need, especially during cold spells.

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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activities, Winter

Our Top Ten Winter Activities

Our Top Ten Winter Activities

A few of our favourite winter activities

The wet miserable dark days are now sadly here, that horrible saying of “I’m bored”  will soon drive us all crazy. We have put together a list of our top ten winter activities that we enjoy during the winter months. These activities can be enjoyed by a wide age group.

Our boys are teenagers and bore very easily so we have to think of things that will grab their attention for that bit longer. Our teens have always got lots of energy like most kids and they always enjoy a challenge.

Here is a list of our top ten winter activities.

Movies days – Something we all really enjoy. We let the kids all pick a movie each and we work our way through them all. We all bring our duvet downstairs, the pj’s stay on and we all snuggle up and enjoy a real lazy day together. Movie days are perfect for horrible wet stormy days.

our top ten winter activities

Indoor skiing – These days are perfect for days that the kids have lots of energy to burn, we enjoyed a sports holiday back in August and skiing was one of the sports the boys tried and I must say they very much enjoyed. We will be looking up our most local dry slope, this will be something we will be treating the boys to this winter in a bid to burn some energy and have fun doing so.

Our top ten winter activities
Lee and Bradley on our skiing/sports holiday back in August 2015

Swimming – Some winter fun for all the family to enjoy together. We normally have races up and down the pool, we have little challenges such as who can tread water the longest. We drop something to the bottom of the pool and see who can get it first/the quickest, the kids love games in the pool, especially if we visit during fun swim when the floats are out.

Fun on the Wii – We all enjoy playing on the Wii, we have dancing competitions, bowling competitions and very much enjoy the carnival games. This is something we enjoy doing as a family, it can get very competitive when playing the carnival games, before we know it hours have passed.

Fake-away – We all have our favourite takeaway so instead of ordering it we create our very own fakeaway. We had a vote at what we was going to have and chicken shish kebab won the vote. We have also made homemade pizzas, KFC, burgers and so on. The kids really enjoy getting stuck into learning how to make their own takeaway, they even wanted seconds.

Our top ten winter activities

Sleepover fun – On the odd weekend if homework is complete and up to date we let the boys take turns on having friends sleepover. Being teenagers not much sleep is had. They watch movies, listen to music, play competitive games, the consoles are high up on their to-do list along with home carnival games, board games and a fake-away.

Challenging fun – We enjoy having a good old family challenge, this is where we all compete against each other. We have catchphrase on record and love to challenge each other on the answers. We also enjoy family board games, cards, charades, homemade carnival games and many more challenging games.

our top ten winter activities

Indoor skating – This is somewhere we go to show off our skills to each other, in my case to get laughed at……Yes I spend most of my time on my bottom! We go just to spend quality time together and have a laugh, we go on the odd Friday night.

our top ten winter activities

keep fit – We are currently in the process of setting up our very own home gym in our conservatory, we all enjoy working out together and challenging each others times. The boys find it rather comical that I tire out before they do, what can I say I’m beginning to show my age now.

our top ten winter activities

Homemade carnival games – We have a love of our carnival games and enjoy playing them on the Wii. Instead of just enjoying them on the Wii we also enjoy making our very own homemade ones.

our top ten winter activities

What winter fun do you enjoy?

Winter

Ways to beat the winter blues

ways to beat the winter blues

Ways to beat the winter blues

Now that we’re past Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, and well on the way to Christmas, I think it’s fair to say that we’re definitely entering the winter months. And whilst there is something magical about winter, it can often present us all with an unfortunate case of the winter blues.

I’m not sure whether it’s something to do with lack of sunlight causing a few instances of the notorious seasonal-affective disorder, or even just the fact that most of us might have overspent on Christmas presents by now!

But regardless of the cause, I’ve found that some of these fun activities can take the pain out of the winter blues.

Indoor camping

ways to beat the winter blues

If you’re like me and have kid’s causing chaos around the house, it can be tricky to find a way for them to let off steam when it’s cold and wet outside. So why not try and recreate the fun of the great outdoors in your own home with some of these great indoor camping ideas that I found on Pinterest.

All of these ideas can be done with just a little bit of craft know-how and some childlike imagination. But if you’re concerned about the little ones getting enough sleep when indoor camping, then there’s a wide range of playful children’s beds that can make the camping experience all the more exciting!

Retail therapy

ways to beat the winter blues

I’m sure I’m not the only one who might have overspent already this Christmas, but the fact is that doing a bit of online window-shopping is an easy way to pass the time and look forward to the January sales.

It can also be a good way to include the kids in buying presents for the family and their friends. In particular, sites such as the wildly colourful Ban.do have a great range of vibrant youthful gifts that could be great to show off in the classroom – just make sure that you let Santa know too!

Embracing the winter spirit

ways to beat the winter blues

However, I find that the best way for me to shake off the chilly feeling of winter is simply to get out there and celebrate the exciting time of year. The run-up to Christmas has to be one of the most magical times to be a child, and all up and down the country there are many fun Christmas fairs and markets to attend.

And even if you’ve run out of ideas with indoor camping, online shopping and enjoying Christmas fairs, then you can simply get out there on a bike and burn off that excess energy!

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