Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Four tips to help you buy your ideal family car

Choosing the perfect gifts for your family members can be fun and rewarding. If only choosing the perfect family car was the same! Buying a car for your family is an important decision, and can be overwhelming. You have to take more factors into consideration than if you were simply choosing a runaround to get you from A to B. If you’re in the market for a new family car, here are four helpful considerations to get you started.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Space is usually high on a buyer’s list when it comes to buying a family car, but space is far from the only consideration, and it may not even top your list of priorities. Knowing what matters to you and your family is an essential starting point. Otherwise you could become overwhelmed with choice and forget something essential. It would be a shame to end up inadvertently choosing a vehicle that falls short, when you could have had the ideal car. Consider factors like how many seats you will need, fuel economy, and what terrain you will be driving the car on. (What’s the point of having a big car for outdoor family adventures if you can’t go off-roading, right?) Involving the kids in this process of weighing priorities can be fun, and make the children feel part of the decision.

Understand your budget

With so many cars to choose from, you may have drawn up a long list of cars you’d consider for your family. But you have to narrow down your options somehow, and budget is a great place to start. While the upfront cost of a vehicle is important, it’s also vital to take running costs into consideration, as you’ll be paying these for as long as you have the car. Look at your list of potential vehicles and consider what you’ll have to pay monthly, including tax, fuel, insurance and maintenance costs. Understanding what you’re signed on for month after month will help you make a more sensible decision when it comes to the initial outlay. Once you’ve worked out your budget, decide how you will fund the purchase. Will you go for HP or PCP finance, or pay in cash upfront?

Look Into Used Car Options

Buying a used car is a great way to get good quality without paying the world, but not all used cars were created equal. Unless you’re an experienced car expert, you’d be better off buying from a reputable dealer, ideally with manufacturer approval. For example, Vauxhall Approved Used Car Offers would be a wise bet, while purchasing a car in a private sale would be risky. (The last thing you want in a family car is risk!)

Choose The Ideal Body Style

Many people think of car manufacturer as the main category when it comes to choosing a family car. However, this may not be the most sensible way to divide your options. Thinking about body style can be more productive, as it highlights practical considerations. While the standard saloon with four doors is the traditional ‘family car’ owed to its large volume of luggage capacity, but this shape is quite inflexible because the boot and cabin are separate. A five-door hatchback is highly practical, while an estate offers loads of space in the boot for those four-legged family members.

Whether you’re buying new or second hand, choosing a family car can be daunting. These tips will help you get your priorities in order and find the right car for your needs.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Don't let the daily grind from parenthood distract you from the beauty

Any parent will tell you that having kids is the most wonderful and transformative thing that ever happened to them… And they’ll also tell you that it’s the reason why they’re perpetually knackered, stressed, cranky and on the verge of tears. It’s a paradox that those who don’t have kids yet will never understand but parents know only too well. It’s fair to say that whatever age your kids may be, finding balance is all-important. Parenting can be stressful and frustrating and when combined with the pressures of work, money and career it can make for an exhausting cocktail for which there never seems to be enough hours in the day or enough fuel in the tank. 

But the daily grind of parenting (as stressful and exhausting as it can sometimes be) shouldn't distract you from the quotidian beauty that’s to be found in the journey of parenting every day. 

Go easy on yourself!

Let’s face it, there’s enough pressure on parents in this day and age. It seems as though society’s expectations of parents become more unrealistic every day, and even the perfect parent can find themselves the subject of disapproving eye-rolls when our kids decide they’re going to have an impromptu temper tantrum in Tesco.

We feel pressure from society in everything from breastfeeding to behavior management. When our kids are born, we all feel that we need to measure ourselves by an unattainably perfect standard of parenting… And that does neither our kids nor ourselves any favours. It’s okay to make mistakes. They help us learn. Even if we lose our tempers we need to learn to forgive ourselves. If we keep on holding ourselves to an impossibly high standard we could also end up doing the same for our kids. And that could cause them real damage

Slow life down a little

The life of a parent seems to move at break-neck speed. In fact, it can often feel as though day-to-day life is like being behind the wheel of an out of control car. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that digital technology is a virtually ubiquitous presence in our lives. It seems as though every waking moment there’s some device or screen or other demanding our constant attention on those rare moments when our kids aren’t.

Sometimes it’s necessary to pump the brakes a little and slow life down. Mindfulness meditation is a great way to do this. It involves ridding yourself of all distractions for a little while and focusing on nothing but breathing. It helps you to gain perspective on the world, on life, and on parenting while helping to slow down the pace of life just a little. It’s the perfect antidote to anxiety and stress!

The great thing about mindfulness meditation is that it only takes a few minutes. It can be done on your lunch break, in the car or in the bath. It can fit around your busy schedule with aplomb!

Remember, whatever your money worries are, they’re not insurmountable!

Raising a kid in the 21st century is an expensive prospect. In fact, raising a child to the age of 21 can cost the better part of a quarter of a million quid depending on where you’re living. So, don’t beat yourself up if you’re experiencing money troubles. Just remember that whatever they may be, they are certainly not insurmountable. 

It’s just a case of developing better habits. 

For example, if you need money for an emergency but your credit is less than stellar, don’t assume that you only have bad options. Parents with bad credit ratings needn’t resort to predatory loan companies with astronomical interest rates. Can you get a guarantor loan with bad credit? Yes you can. And from a reliable company that won’t charge an arm and a leg in interest.

Furthermore, drawing up a household budget (and actually sticking to it), cutting back on the little expenses which add up to make a big difference at the end of the month and paying something, anything into your savings account every month can make all the difference to your finances!

Remember that you need some TLC too!

Finally, it’s important to remember that as well as making time for their partners and their children, parents need to make time for themselves too. They need to take at least an hour or two a week to do the things that bring them happiness and provide them with an identity outside of being a parent. Whether that’s going to your 5-a-side football practice, attending a dance class or a coffee morning or simply treating yourself to a long soak in the tub with a good book. 

Co-parents need to help each other make time to give themselves!

Monday, 18 March 2019

The Fire (in the mind): Igniting our childrens' desire to learn

While fun with the family is a great way for us all to bond, if we are constantly spending time with our children, enjoying ourselves, we might feel a little bit guilty that when not helping them more to learn. After all, we’re so busy in life the last thing on our mind would be to help our children learn! But it's an important part of their developments, especially if they don't like school. But the trick is all about igniting the desire to learn, rather than forcing it upon them. What are the best ways to do this?

Finding Their Passions
It might very well be the case that your children haven't found their passion yet. We all have individual hobbies and interests, and it's these things that we naturally pay more attention to. And it may be as simple as this! If your children haven't found their passions, then it's hardly surprising they’re not really paying attention to anything! And it's your responsibility to find something for them to pay attention to, and this means providing as many different experiences as possible. It's not just about doing the same things all of the time, instead, give them a diverse set of experiences to draw from. Take them to a kids farm on the weekend, or maybe to a museum, but mix it up with quality time with the family. After all, variety is the spice of life.

Making Them Learn “By Accident”
And if there's something that they have to learn, such as in school, but they can't connect with the subject matter, sometimes a change of environment helps. But what also helps is making them not think about the fact that they have to learn something. This is where memory techniques like mnemonics or turning something into a song has great benefit. There are so many great courses online in which to improve your memory, but they always boil down to the fundamental fact that if you're not engaged with a subject, then that is why they're not taking anything on board.

Encourage Them
And with all of the best will in the world, if we're not encouraging them in the right direction, then we won't see any results. It's a very delicate balance. We have to encourage our children, but we can't force them to do something. In many ways, this starts early on in life. But we have to respect our children's limitations. We can do anything we put our mind to it, but as we get older, we, as parents and people, become limited by our own lack of belief. Encouraging them is a delicate art. But we have to respect their boundaries. If they are struggling with something, we can help them as much as we can, but if we are limited in Pythagoras and complex mathematical terms, we'll have to find some way to help them learn the information.

After all, our children don't always want to learn, but if we can find a way for them to have an interest in a certain subject, this could bleed through into other aspects of their education. As such, it's about variety, but also understanding that learning and going to school isn't a dull and boring thing.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

10 Steps for Feeding Babies aged 0-12Mths

Although my babies are no longer in this age range, i can still remember all our feeding routines from the early days right through to the fussy toddler days. My youngest is now 5 yrs old, i remember everything about his dreadful feeding habits because he was the only breastfed baby out of all 3! I remember having long discussions with other breast feeding parents and even healthcare professionals about breastfeeding and how excited i was to try it with my last baby as i never really fancied it with the others. I watched other mums feed their babies, it looked so easy so i didn't doubt it for a second!

Then i had my beautiful baby boy, he was perfect. Shortly after his birth i tried breastfeeding, it went really well, just as i had planned.... for the first few feeds!!!
Then my baby decided not to latch properly, he struggled to feed and it got so painful so quickly! Midwives suggested he had tongue tie and would need to have the skin under his tongue snipped to make feeding much easier, so after a week or so we went ahead with it. I really thought it would make a difference but sadly it didn't. My boy still wasn't very good at latching on and i was losing patients. Bottle feeding was so much easier for both of us, so after 7 weeks of breast feeding struggles I decided to bottle feed only. I never looked back! This is what worked for us and my baby was content, he slept good and i was no longer in agony!

I know a lot of mothers keep up breastfeeding way past 6 months! Some have no struggles at all. I tried my best but it wasn't for me! I feel sorry for young mothers today who may feel pressured into breastfeeding, breast isn't always best, it definitely wasn't in my case.
We all want our children's feeding experiences to be positive ones but it doesn't always work out how we would have liked. Today i've been looking at these 10 easy steps for feeding babies aged 0-12 months and i think it's definitely worth a read for new parents who may be a little concerned by their babies eating habits, or lack of eating! It's SO difficult to know if our children are getting the right amount of vitamins, iron and everything needed to keep their little bodies fit and well. I found this information really useful and i only wish it was around back when my children were very little!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Hair and Beauty Therapy for busy Mums

          This post is Sponsored content written by myself, all opinions are my own.

 So, lately i've been thinking about how awful my hair looks. I've always had my Hair long, I love having long hair and i really can't imagine having it short. I don't get much time to look after my hair, i don't use any Hair masks and comb it through after conditioning like you're meant to! I wish i did but i just don't have the time that goes into decent hair care. What i'm now wondering is this. Is it time to lose a few inches of my Hair?!? It doesn't have to be short but it could just be shorter, it could still look really nice, and probably a lot healthier than it does now!

I think the thing holding me back is the time involved in growing your hair long. If i did get it cut shorter and i really missed having long hair i would be in for quite a wait while it's growing back!

I have been reassuring myself that if it comes to that, there is still a chance that  I could have long hair again, without waiting years for it to grow.

I've never had hair extensions before, but there are so many people providing good quality Hair extensions around my town that i know it would be an option i could look into easily.

I also like the idea of having some unusual hair styles such as side Braids and Twist Braids. Some Hair extensions and Wigs bought from stores or online can be pre-styled! Perfect for a mum on a school run every day!
Surprisingly they don't cost even half of what i thought!

After a little internet research i'm definitely feeling a lot more confident about having my hair cut, watch this space!!!

             Thanks for Reading :-)