Saturday, 3 February 2018

Rainy Weekend Days and how we survive them

As the weather has been so cold and rainy for the last 2 weeks, we have decided to stay home most weekends and keep warm and cosy! However, with 3 children that isn't always as lovely and relaxing as it sounds!

I find that most weekends the kids want to stay home and play after their busy week at school, sometimes staying home with them drives me mad but there are definitely ways to make it more bearable and it means i get to save money!

My children (like most) are tablet/iphone obsessed and would play games on their devices all weekend long if i let them. I don't like to see them spending all of their weekend on their tablets so i'm usually the one to go hunting around the house looking for fun things to do with them.

K is the youngest and he loves to bake cakes, we usually do some baking most weekends so I know he's done his favourite thing and he's happy. The older ones are harder to entertain, because they would prefer to be playing on their tablets!

Games always go down well with my children, they love trying new games but still love playing their old favourites such as Dobble and Game of Life. This week we have tried 2 new games, the first one is Top Trumps cards. My partner was shocked that i had never played it before or that i never had any as a child! This game was a little too hard for 4 year old K to understand so we played it after he went to bed. 

Top Trumps is fun and quick and easy, it can drag on for a long time but if you limit yourself to 10 minutes only it's not so bad. I like games that don't require any set up if it's a quick game before bedtime, so this one is perfect! There are plenty different Top Trumps cards to collect, our girls chose Shopkins and Trolls

We also tried this PJ Masks game, my youngest is a big fan and he really enjoyed the game, although he didn't really follow the rules of the game too well!
The game comes with all the PJ Masks characters, playing cards, Romeo's Lab and 15 robots. The object of the game is to work together as a team to defeat the Robots from taking over.  It's quite easy to follow but some 4 year olds may find it difficult like my little boy did. Definitely worth a go for rainy day fun for all PJ Masks fans!

This game includes 1x Game Board, 33x Playing Cards, 4x Movers, 15x Robots, 15x Robot Bases, 1x Romeo's Lab, 1x Romeo's Lab Base & instructions. 

This game is suitable for 1-4 players. Suitable for ages 4 years and up. 
Playing Time: 20 minutes

Kids love to play games and toys that they haven't seen in a long time, so before you go out splashing cash on new games maybe have a look at the back of the cupboards to see if you can find their old favourites?

Thanks for Reading :-) Enjoy your weekend however you choose to spend it!

Friday, 24 November 2017

In Review: Brio World Deluxe Set

 This week, we have been trying out the king of all Brio sets, this is the Brio World deluxe train set. We have been playing with the set for an hour and 30 minutes none stop today. I've really enjoyed setting it up for the kids, there's so many different ways to create the Station.

The set includes 87 pieces, it's one of the biggest Brio collections available. It's really easy to put together, you don't really need to follow the instructions as you can put it together how you like. There are 3 Metro Train carriages and a Metro tunnel, 3 Travel Train Carriages, 1 freight Train, 2 vehicles, 2 container wagons, 1 freighter, a Train Station, 3 Stations, people and luggage, signs, level crossings, ramps, roads, oh and lots and lots of track!!

Everything you expect to see at a Train Station you will see here in this Brio world. The attention to detail is amazing, everything looks so real. The trains are fantastic quality, we've had some of our Brio Trains for around 5 years and they're still going strong!

This station is my favourite part of the play set, you can almost feel the hustle bustle of a real Train Station when setting this bit up. It has life like automatic doors which are controlled by a little wheel at the top.  There are lots of little people and Luggage included with the set.

I really like that this set includes some Road and vehicles too. My little boy loves the Bus station, there's often a long que of people waiting for the Bus in our set!! I love how there is so much detail with these sets, just look at the map on the bus station!

With a set like this one, there isn't much need to buy any add ons as there's so much included, enough to keep little ones busy for a while!

Now you're probably  thinking "where am i going to store all that?"  another great thing about this set is it comes in a large box with zippers on the side. Making it nice and easy to get the trains out and then put them away!

     Please watch our Video review to get a good idea of whats included in this play set.

The Brio world deluxe playset is currently on sale for £189 and would make an amazing Christmas present for any Train loving child this year!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Winter Car Check List

Christmas is the busiest time of year for most parents, there's so much to think about.. The Turkey, the Christmas Tree and decorations, The presents, Parties and Buffets. Lets face it, for most people the last thing on your mind this time of year is your Car. With winter upon us and cold icy weather ahead, it is the perfect time to start checking over your car and making sure it's ready to face the Winter! Car servicing is something that is overlooked by many road users who consider that an annual MOT is enough to keep a car in good working order. Regular servicing is essential to keep all aspects of a car are in proper condition and to pick up on problems before they occur. However, it is also important in terms of road safety. What's more, there are many aspects of car servicing which you can do for yourself without the need for a professional mechanic. What should you be doing or having checked by someone in the know?

1)      Engine Oil Top Ups
Use your dipstick to ensure that there is enough oil in your car. Without it, you might overheat, especially in hot weather on long drives. If this happens on a motorway at high speed, your car's occupants may be placed in danger.

2)      Braking System Check
An essential part of any car's safety mechanisms is the braking system. You can visually check for wear on your car's brake pads by looking for the dust that builds up as they are used. If you spot this, then you ought to take your car to a professional to swap them for new ones. If your brakes vibrate when you apply them, do the same.

3)      Battery Fluid Levels
Many batteries, particularly older ones, need topping up with water or they won't work efficiently. If they dry out, then you may face problems on the road. Use a shop bought filler with the necessary nozzle to refill your battery's fluid levels. Alternatively, top up with distilled water, but never use tap water which is full of harmful minerals.

4)      Tyre Condition Verification

Inspect your tyre tread for wear and tear. If the tread is so worn down that you cannot fit the rim of a twenty pence coin inside it, then you must have them replaced. Another good thing to check for safety is whether your tyres have bulges or cracks on the side. Those that do are more liable to blow out.  Find your new Tyres at

1)      Tyre Pressure Check
As well as tyre condition, it is important to ensure your tyres are properly inflated every few thousand miles. Tyres with too little pressure mean you cannot brake properly and may cause you to lose control if you need to swerve to avoid road debris.

2)      Water Reservoir Confirmation
Your screen wash is not just to keep your car looking good. It helps you to see where you are going and is, therefore, an important safety mechanism. In winter you will use more, so keep on top of the level in your reservoir to ensure you don't run out when you most need a clear windscreen.

3)      Lighting Check
Bulbs blow on cars all the time. To remain a safe driver, you must make sure your brake, reversing, fog and headlights all work. Take the time to check your indicator lights, too, which help pedestrians as much as other road users.

4)      Seat belt Verification
Pull your seat belt out slowly so that it does not jam. Look along the entire surface of both sides, checking for frayed or split areas. Even minor damage can cause problems. Any seat belts with worn areas should be replaced entirely and not patched up.
What car servicing tips did you find most effective?

Saturday, 11 November 2017

5 things you should do if you’re involved in a car accident

Regardless of whether you’ve just passed your test or you’ve held your licence for many years, being out and about on the roads can be dangerous. Even if you stick to the Highway Code and abide by the speed limit, it’s near impossible to predict what might happen when you’re behind the wheel.

According to figures cited by Michael Jefferies Injury Lawyers, around 750,000 people are injured in road traffic accidents in the UK every year. For the sake of your safety and the wellbeing of others, it’s essential that you do what you can to avoid these types of problems on the roads - but it’s just as important to know what you should do if you find yourself in a car-related mishap. If something like this does happen to you, here’s what you should do.

1. Stop

Did you know that failing to stop when you been involved in an accident is considered to be a criminal offence? Even if it’s a minor bump, it’s important that you stay at the scene. So, to avoid landing yourself in trouble, it’s vital that you bring your vehicle to a complete stop in a safe place.

You should make sure your engine is turned off and switch your hazards lights on. This will make your presence known to other road users.

2. Call 999

It might seem obvious, but if anyone appears to be hurt, you should ring 999 as soon as possible. You should call the police and an ambulance if needed.

You should also call the police if the accident is blocking the road or if you believe foul play was involved - for example, if you think the accident was a deliberate attempt by the other driver to make a fraudulent insurance claim.

It’s important to note that car accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. If not, you could face a fine, penalty points or even be disqualified from driving altogether

3. Provide your details

When you’re in an accident, you are required to provide your details to the other parties involved. You should even provide your information if there aren’t any other people involved. For example, if you bump into a parked car, you should try and find out who the owner is. If you’re unable to, you should try and leave your details on a piece of paper on the windscreen.

3. Collect other people’s details

Try to collect the names, address and contact details of anyone else at the scene of the accident, such as the drivers and passengers of any other vehicles involved and witnesses. Remember to get the car insurance details of the other drivers, and find out who the registered owner of the vehicle is.

4. Take notes about the scene of the accident

If you’re well enough to do so, you should try to take notes about the scene of the accident. For example, you should write down the registration plate numbers of any other vehicles involved, including the colour and model of each car. You should also make a list of the damage to the vehicles and the injuries to anyone involved.

It also helps to take photos of the scene and make a note of the weather conditions. Don’t forget to write down the date and time too.

5. Contact your insurer

It’s important to inform your insurer of the accident as soon as possible, regardless of whether you want to make a claim or not. Your insurance company may require you to do this within a certain time period, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of your cover.

You will need to provide your insurer with as much detail as possible about what happened. If you are making a claim, they will advise you on what happens next.

As well as bearing these five points in mind, it's worth noting that if you feel your accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. If you choose to take this step, a solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you have a viable claim.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Home Remodeling Tips from The Experts

Any remodeling project can become overwhelming, especially if you have not tackled one before. It can get even more frustrating if you are trying to stick to a budget. So whether you have tried remodeling in the past or this is the first time you are doing it, here are some tips to guarantee a smooth sailing project.

Small Projects Can Be As Expensive As Bigger Ones

Remember that each and every remodeling project will require a lot of time and money. You need to perform demolition jobs, process permits, hire a contractor, and many other things, regardless of the size of the project. Thus, even the smallest project could cost a good amount of money. So before you embark on a small remodeling project, you may want to think really hard if it is necessary to do it at this time. Otherwise, it may be better to wait until such time that you will need to tackle a much bigger project and do things all at once and hiring a general contractor.

Do Not Be In A Rush

When planning your project, do not be in a hurry. Remember, even the smallest mistake could cost you a lot of money. Take time to consider all aspects when you prepare the detailed plans for your remodeling project. Spend more time with your contractor and architect and ask as many questions as you can. Be open to their suggestions and ask for their professional advice before you start with the building demolition and construction.

Improve the Efficiency Instead of Size

If you are able to reorganize and equip your home to achieve maximum utility, it may not be necessary to destroy the walls just to gain more space in your house. For instance, you can start in the kitchen. Check out the storage and see if you can replace those space-hogging shelves with a full-length cabinet that includes pull out drawers and racks that you can use for keeping canned goods and other grocery items. If you are trying to save money, then this is definitely a more practical solution than having to destroy and rebuild your space. By simply outfitting the cabinets with new upgrades, you are able to save thousands on your remodeling project. Check out our post on using your space better too.

Bring In Light Without Having to Add Windows

Before you decide to cut a huge hole on your wall and rearrange the framing, you may want to consider other options when it comes to bringing in more light into your space. There are cheaper and less invasive ways of capturing light into your home. For instance, if you want to brighten up your windowless hallway, install a light tube instead. You can simply slip this in between the roof rafters and this will funnel in the outside light towards your living space.

Visit a Recycling Center Before You Start Buying Things

If you are doing the project yourself, you could save a lot of money if you will visit your local recycling center before you start buying supplies and other resources you will need for the project. You might be surprised to discover several secondhand home fixtures that are way cheaper than the brand new ones. There are also organizations that sell building materials at less than half the cost of buying them from stores, so you may want to check these out.

This tip will however apply only to those who will be tackling the project on their own. Most contractors and professional builders will not be willing to work with secondhand and salvaged materials since they do not want to assume the liability in the event that something goes wrong. Of course, this will also ruin their reputation. So do your research well and if you really want to buy from recycling centers, double check the item to ensure that it is still in good condition.

Consider the Long Term Costs

If for instance your remodeling project will require the use of clapboard siding, you may be able to save more money in the long run if you will opt for the pre-painted and pre-primed variety right from the start. These might cost you up to 50 cents more per square foot, however you could end up saving as much for painting jobs in the long run. This is because factory finishes are not always able to withstand occasional rain and extreme sun exposure. You will not deal with so many problems if you will go for the pre-finished and pre-painted varieties, even after several years of use.

Limit the Use of Recessed Lighting Fixtures

The more recessed lights that you are going to install, the more your project will cost. If you are trying to stick to a budget, then using too many recessed lights may not be a good idea. Aside from the fixtures, you also need to spend for the labor cost of cutting holes and insulation. You might as well invest on ceiling or wall mounted lights instead. These lighting fixtures are able to deliver more wattage and thus, you can get by with installing only a few of them.

Resist the Urge to Totally Transform Your Home

Sometimes, we tend to get overwhelmed with our renovation plans that we end up turning our house into a totally different one and spending as much money as buying a whole new house. So before you proceed with the remodeling project, evaluate your plans carefully and make sure you stick with it. If you keep on changing plans along the way, you could end up converting your house into a totally different one. In this case, it might be better that you purchase a whole new property instead of remodeling your old house. So weigh the pros and cons and consider the cost before you proceed with a major remodeling project.

Remodeling your house is both exciting and overwhelming. If you are not prepared, you might end up feeling frustrated especially if you are on a limited budget. So learn from the remodeling tips above to avoid all the hassles and headaches that come with tackling a home remodeling project.