5 Steps to Throwing an Unforgettable Party Celebration

19.12.23

We all love a good party - or at least, most of us probably do - because it offers up a chance to create fun and loving memories that can last a lifetime. But where to start with planning one? 


Time and Place

First things first, you need to decide on a date, time, and location for the event. Take your time making these first three initial decisions, because they can have a big impact on the outcome of your bash. Are you going to host the event at your home on a Sunday afternoon, or are you going to rent out a nightclub on a Friday night? Both choices are excellent, but they will completely transform the tone of the event, so you should think carefully about the vibe you will be aiming for. Once your party is officially in the diary, you can begin the exciting parts of party planning!

Select a Specific Theme

Every party should have a theme, whether it be subtle or extravagant. Your theme might impact your decorations, but it could also go one step further and impact how your guests dress! The ball is totally in your court when it comes to choosing a theme for your bash, but here are a few party theme ideas to get your brain sparking some ideas.

  • Formal Theme: Black Tie
  • Informal Theme: PJ Party
  • Fancy Dress: Superheroes 

Of course, there are endless themes to choose from in each category. Once your theme is selected, you will be able to plan accordingly for how you wish to decorate your party location. For example, if you have opted for a fancy dress theme where your guests dress up as their favourite celebrities, you could create a red carpet for your party entrance with a photo spot for “paparazzi” pictures, and silver sparkly tassels along the walls for a glamorous impact.

Alternatively, if you have chosen a ‘90s party theme, you might opt for bright retro colours to decorate the party room, as well as a glitzy disco ball and neon props. To help choose a theme, it can be useful to think about what time of year it is, the types of guests attending, and what your personal interests are. There are no rules when it comes to a party theme, so you should feel free to get as creative as possible to make your bash one to remember.

Food and Drinks

Your choice of food and drink for the party could go hand in hand with your chosen theme. If you’ve chosen a formal, Hollywood red-carpet theme, why not offer up classy glasses of Champagne or elegant martinis, paired with light bites? Meanwhile, if you’ve chosen a nationality American theme, you could serve up tasty burgers, fries, and cans of coke. Remember that presentation is key when serving food and beverages to your guests.

Don’t be shy! Try playing around with your choice of cuisine and beverages, but remember that you’ll need to make sure your guests are well-accommodated, so that their bellies aren’t left rumbling. You’ll also need to check for any allergies or dietary requirements. If you wish your guests to bring their own alcohol, you should also make this clear on your invites. 


Choose Captivating Entertainment

Entertainment is key for throwing a party that your guests will never forget. Of course, you can’t go wrong with some upbeat music and a selection of beverages, but there are other ways to consider entertaining your guests. What’s great is that there are endless entertainment options for you to choose from.

Karaoke: A good old-fashioned sing-song has never failed to bring fun to a party. This is a great form of entertainment for all ages too, as everyone can pick their own song of choice and get everyone else to join in.

Photobooth: Digital photo booth hire would allow your party guests to capture special moments from the event, helping them to remember the party forever.

Games: Even adults can enjoy playing games at a party. There are multiple games to choose from, including the likes of Never Have I Ever, Jenga and Mr & Mrs, or you could just opt for a simple game of pass the parcel. Party games can help bring your celebration to life and your guests closer together.

Live Performer: From magicians and fire eaters to a classic DJ, whatever type of performer you opt for, hiring live entertainment is practically guaranteed to dazzle and entertain your party guests. Plus it takes the pressure of you to make sure your guests are having a good time!

Send Out Your Invites

You will need to let your guests know the date, time, and location of the party by sending out invitations. Ideally, you should give your party guests plenty of notice; around one month in advance would be ideal for a birthday, engagement, or baby shower event. However, depending on the reason for your bash, you might want to lengthen your notice or even shorten it. The type of event will help determine whether it's okay to just send a casual group chat invite, or whether a formal written invitation is needed.

Remember to let your guests know of any chosen themes, and what the dress code will be, as well as whether they will be required to bring anything such as food, drinks, games, or props to the event.

Happy partying!

This is a collaborative post.

5 Tips for a Dream Bedroom Renovation

27.7.23

Redecorating your bedroom is one of the most important stages of any interior design project. Getting regular, quality sleep is essential to our overall well being, as not only can it make it easier for us to focus throughout the day, but it can help to improve our physical and mental health.

Of course, getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done, but ensuring that you have the right environment is a good place to start. Luckily, there are small design changes that you can make to help improve your quality of sleep. So, if you’re preparing to redecorate your bedroom, here are just five fantastic things that you can implement into your designs. 


Choose the Right Colour Scheme

Finding the right colours for your bedroom space is an important decision, particularly because different shades can drastically alter our overall mood. When selecting the colour theme for your bedroom, consider looking into colour psychology, that way you’ll be able to choose the right shade to create a calm and relaxing environment.

Pale blues are often a popular choice, as they typically evoke feelings of serenity and tranquillity. Lighter colours make a room feel lighter, brighter and bigger too - so maybe avoid dark colours unless you want to create that 'cosy' atmosphere.

Consider Fragrance Diffusers

Another sense that you can engage when choosing the d├ęcor for your room is your sense of smell. Just like colours, certain fragrances can help us to feel more relaxed. While many of us use scented candles in our homes, we don’t always like the idea of having an open flame in the bedroom. A good compromise is setting up a fragrance diffuser on your vanity, not only are these much safer, but you can also get the same calming scents.

Find the Right Mattress

One of the biggest hindrances to a good night’s sleep is an uncomfortable mattress. Our mattresses aren’t built to last forever, and if yours is starting to keep you up at night, then the time has come to get yourself a new one.

Of course, with so many makes, models, and stockists out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Finding an experienced mattress retailer will allow you to get the best advice. For example, on archerssleepcentre.co.uk you will find a wide variety of viscoelastic mattresses and many more! Plus, their expert team will be able to advise you on the ideal model for your sleeping requirements.

Utilise Black Out Blinds

If you find that you’re being woken up by the sunlight too early, then your upcoming bedroom renovation is the perfect time to invest in black out blinds or curtains. That way even when the sun rises early in the morning, you’ll still be able to remain sound asleep until you’re ready to wake up!

If you don't like the style and design of blackout curtains, you could choose regular curtains, and then team these with a blackout blind instead. So not only will they add to the aesthetics of the room, but also be super practical as well.

Make Time to Declutter

Having a cluttered bedroom can lead us to feel more stressed and anxious - something that many of us with busy lives could do without! If you find that your bedroom gets messy quickly, spend the weekend having a clear out of everything that you don’t use. And, if items are still in good condition, consider donating them to a charity shop such as Oxfam, rather than sending them to the landfill. That way you’ll also be helping to protect the planet while you’re at it!

Share your bedroom renovation tips in the comments below!

This is a collaborative post.

Should you Add more Seafood to your Diet?

13.7.23

We all know that eating a healthy, varied diet is important for keeping us fit and healthy. A lot of people consider this to be eating more fruits and vegetables, but have you ever considered adding more seafood in to your diet? There are many great reasons to eat more shrimp, and in this post I'm going to share a few with you.


Shrimp is an incredibly versatile seafood

Shrimp can be incorporated into so many different dishes. To give you an idea, here are just a few of the many different ways you can use shrimp.

  • Shrimp goes great with rice and is the basis of many sushi dishes.
  • Shrimp also works great with Italian pasta dishes like linguine or Asian noodles in the form of a stir fry. It goes very well with garlic and chilli.
  • You can also incorporate shrimp into various curries. Shrimp is known to work very well with coconut. 
  • Many Mexican dishes can also use shrimp including tacos. It’s also a staple of many Cajun dishes. 
  • Cooked shrimp can also be added to salads and cold dishes. For example, this shrimp ceviche from Preppy Kitchen could make a great cold dish for the summer. 
  • Shrimp can also make a great starter served with dips like sweet chilli or thousand island sauce. 
  • You can even add shrimp to an omelette!

Shrimp is a lean source of protein

Compared to many meats and fishes, shrimp is relatively low in fat while also being high in protein. For example, when compared to chicken, shrimp has about 60% less fat and 40% more protein per calorie. This chicken vs shrimp comparison at Souper Sage offers more information. This makes it a fantastic source of protein for people that are trying to lose weight. It can also be a great source of protein for bodybuilders that are trying to gain muscle and reduce fat at the same time.

Shrimp contains many other nutrients too, including - potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron. It also contains a rare antioxidant called astaxanthin. This is found within algae, which is a major food source for shrimp, and has been found to be potentially very good for heart health. You’ll also find a lot of iodine within shrimp. Iodine is important for thyroid function. Those with an iodine deficiency may find that eating shrimp helps.

It’s also worth noting that shrimp contains some omega-3. This is not as much omega-3 as you’ll find in other forms of seafood, but still more than you get from most other foods. Omega-3 is believed to be very good for both our heart and our brain.

Shrimp doesn’t cost as much as other seafood

Compared to many other forms of seafood, shrimp is also quite affordable. It is particularly cheap compared to other sources of protein like meat. By swapping out some fish and meat for shrimp each week, you could save yourself some money on your food shopping.

It’s worth noting that shrimp is a different species to prawns and that prawns can be pricier (particularly jumbo king prawns). This is because shrimp are generally smaller than prawns and more abundant.

What recipe will you be trying shrimp with first?

This is a collaborative post.

Keeping your Children Safe with the PAJ EASY Finder 4G Tracker | Child Friendly Tracker Review

25.6.23

With my three children growing up and more independence coming their way, we're entering into another stressful and scary step of parenthood. Wondering where your children are at all times and whether they are safe is, as I'm sure you will agree, something that we as parents will always worry about. But thanks to such fantastic developments in technology, there are ways to make these worries just that little bit easier.

The PAJ EASY Finder 4G GPS tracker has been created to help protect what you love the most, and to hopefully give you safe knowledge that they are safe and watched over at all times. 


What is the PAJ EASY Finder 4G?

The PAJ EASY Finder 4G is small and discrete device, that has been created to help give you peace of mind. It's small enough to fit in to your child's bag (or it can be used with the included carry-case), and once turned on, allows you to track everything live - either via your PC or using the mobile app on your phone. 

You can set up the device so that you receive alerts from various alarm settings, plus the EASY Finder also features a large SOS button incase of emergencies. This sends an emergency signal to the added contacts so they immediately know the location of the wearer. A fab feature for children who may not have a mobile device and need to get in contact with you!

Features

  • Suitable for valuables or persons
  • Small and discreet
  • Live tracking and notification updates
  • Robust and waterproof
  • Global coverage allows uninterrupted tracking in more than 100 countries
  • Computer and APP accessible
  • SOS live location sharer
  • 7 day battery life
  • Stores routes for 365 days



My Thoughts

The EASY Finder was incredibly simple to set up and get ready to use thanks to the SIM card already being inside the device. You then have to charge the device fully before connecting it to your account which doesn't take too long, but do note that the cable included isn't doesn't have a UK plug socket which is a bit of a shame. Once connected to the PAJ Portal app on my phone (also super easy to find and download from the APP store), I liked how you could see a large map with the location of the tracker. It updates quickly when the device moves so you can be assured that you are getting a live update too, giving you that peace of mind and reassurance.

One negative I found was that it could be quite easy for the wearer to turn off the device, however PAJ have tried to combat this by having an alert feature enabled for if this does happen. But maybe they could update the device in the future to disable turning the device off in a certain way. The price is also something to consider, as although the initial cost isn't too expensive, you do have to pay a subscription price in order to use the features. This can be made slightly cheaper by purchasing an annual subscription over paying monthly though.


Overall I do think that the PAJ EASY Finder 4G Tracker is a fab little device. It has been well designed to give you the peace of mind and reassurance you need when your loved ones are away from you, as well as being easy to use and set up. Definitely the sort of product every parent needs!

This is a collaborative post, however all opinions are honest and my own.

Fine Art Techniques for Dramatic Wedding Photos

21.6.23

Every wedding photographer dreams of creating a portfolio of stunning images that will become treasured memories for couples to look back on for years to come. With the right knowledge and techniques, it’s possible to use light and shadow to create dramatic, artful wedding photos that are as beautiful as they are memorable.

In this post, Newcastle wedding photographer Sarah-Jane Ethan offers some top tips, to help you explore how you can use light and shadow in creative ways to make your wedding photos truly stand out.

What is Light?

In order to understand how best to use light and shadow, we first need a clear understanding of just what this is. In the simplest terms, light is the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that our eyes are able to perceive. It is made up of many different types of waves, some of which can be seen by our eyes and some of which cannot. These include infrared and ultraviolet light, as well as X-rays and gamma rays.

The type of light we can see with our eyes is known as visible light, and it ranges from red to violet in wavelength. When we use light in photography, we are essentially harnessing this visible portion of the spectrum to create images.

We can manipulate light in a number of ways, from controlling its intensity and direction to using different tools, such as reflectors and diffusers, to shape it for our desired effect.

What Are Shadows?

Once we understand light, we can start to understand the magic of shadows. Shadows are caused by objects that block and absorb the light, creating a darker area in the image. When you are taking photos, shadows can be used to create depth and drama, or to highlight certain features of a subject. However, it is important to use them sparingly – too much shadow can make an image look flat and lack dimension.

Which Techniques can be Used to Capture Dramatic Wedding Photos?

Whether you are an experienced photographer, or just starting out in your craft, there are a number of techniques that will allow you to take advantage of light and shadow, and capture stunning, dramatic wedding photos; let’s take a closer look at them below.

The Importance of Light

Light is one of the most important elements in photography, and wedding photos are no exception. To ensure you capture the perfect shot, it’s critical to understand how light behaves and how best to utilise it.

Start by studying the direction of light and understanding how the position of your subject affects the resulting image. For example, a bride may look more beautiful when the light is coming from behind her, creating a halo effect, while taking photos of the couple in backlit images will bring out the details and textures in their clothes and create a stunningly romantic image.

Using Shadows to Add Drama

Shadows are an essential element of any wedding photo, bringing depth and drama to your shots. Playing with shadows is also a great way to add artistry and a sense of movement to your images. 

For example, consider using a long shadow effect to create the illusion of movement or depth within the image. This can be achieved by utilising natural light sources, like windows or doorways, which will cast longer shadows when placed at an angle. Similarly, you can use this technique to create dramatic silhouettes for a truly unique look.

Using Contrast to Make an Impact

Contrast is another great way to make your wedding photos stand out. High-contrast images often have a lot of visual impact, as they draw attention to the subject while creating a moody atmosphere. To achieve this effect, focus on using light and dark elements in the same image. For example, shooting a bride’s light-coloured dress against a dark background will create a strong visual contrast, making the dress stand out in the photo.

Creating Atmospheric Effects

With a bit of imagination and creativity, you can also use light and shadow to create atmospheric effects in your wedding photos. Using backlighting to capture the bride and groom’s silhouettes against a stunning sunset can add an ethereal feel to your images. Another trick is to use light and shadow to create a dreamy, romantic atmosphere by using candlelight or fairy lights.

Light and shadows are essential elements of photography, and they are often used to capture stunning wedding photos. Experimenting with different techniques can add drama, depth, and atmosphere to your images. So, you shouldn’t be afraid to play around and see what works best for you, and get ready to enjoy the truly breathtaking results.
This is a collaborative post.

6 Ways to Stay Safe Whilst Driving

15.6.23

Planning a road trip is an exciting experience, as you’ll get a chance to step into the world of adventure and freedom. But before you rev your engine and hit the road, it is crucial to prioritise your and your travel companion’s safety in every possible way.

If you're planning a road trip, it is important to follow the road safety tips for a worry-free and safe journey. In this post I'm going to share some of the most important road safety tips which you must follow, in order to keep everyone safe and enhance your travel experience.


Get Adequate Sleep

Before hitting the road, make sure to get adequate sleep and rest. Know that if you’re feeling sleepy or tired while driving, you can increase the risks of accidents. So, before embarking on a road trip with your loved ones, aim to sleep for at least 8-9 hours for 2 consecutive days to reserve your energy. Also, make sure to avoid driving immediately after lunch as most people often feel sleepy after having an afternoon meal. Whenever you feel drowsy or tired while driving, stop at a hotel, take enough rest, and then continue your journey. If you're going on a particularly long journey, it might be worth splitting the journey up with an overnight stay too.

Take Frequent Breaks

Driving continuously for hours can easily make you feel tired and cause muscle stiffness. However, it is important to take regular breaks during your road trip. Consider getting out of the car and stretching your muscles to reduce the risk of muscle stiffness. Be it a tea break, lunch break, or even a selfie break, taking frequent breaks on a road trip are important. Taking frequent breaks can combat fatigue, enhance your concentration on the road, and keep you focused while driving. If you've got children, why not consider stopping at an attraction along the way - we love stopping at National Trust properties for a good leg stretch and piece of cake!

Perform a Vehicle Check

When planning a road trip, make sure to do a vehicle inspection to ensure your four-wheeler is in top condition. A vehicle inspection will help you identify the issues, so you can get these repaired before your trip. This could include checking the headlights, horns, breaks, windshield wipers, and lights. Also, don’t forget to check the oil, coolant, and other essential fluid levels! By performing vehicle inspections or going to experienced mechanics, you can easily reduce the risk of breakdowns in the middle of the road and increase everyone’s safety.

Be Prepared for any Mishaps

Even with proper care and planning, mishaps can still occur at any time and anywhere. You never know what you may have to encounter on the next turn you take on the road. And getting injured on a road trip can significantly affect your travel experience and cause emotional distress. Always travel with a breakdown kit and proper insurance cover (especially if you're driving in another country).

However, if you met with an accident due to someone else’s negligence, then it is wise to consult a dedicated legal expert, especially if you’re unaware of the local laws. An experienced lawyer will help you gather evidence, navigate insurance claims, represent you in court, and deal with insurance companies.

Maintain Distance

When you’re driving on a road, especially in congested areas, make sure you are maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead to avoid rear-end collisions. This is important as you can easily prevent any collision if the vehicle in your front suddenly stops. You should also adjust your car speed according to the condition of the road and poor visibility during heavy rain and fog.

Don't Engage in Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a major culprit behind most road accidents. So, minimise distractions like using your mobile phone or eating a meal to prevent any mishaps, and ensure everyone's safety. Get a passenger to be in charge of the road trip playlist, and if you're travelling with children, get them equipped with headphones so their devices don't cause too much distraction. 

Remember, road safety is not only about you and your fellow travellers, but it is also about fellow drivers and pedestrians. So, keep in mind these tips mentioned above and enjoy a long drive with your loved ones.

This is a collaborative post.

Managing Medications and Healthcare for the Elderly

6.6.23

When someone you love gets sick, it can be an extremely difficult and emotional time. You may feel worried and unsure about how to help them feel better. That’s especially true when it comes to your grandparents or parents, as they hold a special place in your heart. There’s no denying that as they age, their need for support becomes more apparent. However, when they become sick, their need for care and attention increases exponentially. This is particularly true when it comes to managing their medications.

In simple terms, ensuring that your loved ones receive the right medications and take them correctly is crucial for their healing and well-being. You can play a significant role in their recovery by understanding their medications. In this post I am going to go into the details of managing elder health appropriately, specifically focusing on medication management. 


Understanding Medications

As a person ages, they rely on medications to fulfil their body’s nutritional requirements and to address specific health concerns. However, when they get sick, their dependency on medications increases. That’s why you need to understand these medications.

It means knowing what each medication does and why it has been prescribed. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist to get valuable information about the purpose of the medication, how it should be taken, and any potential side effects to watch out for. Believe it or not, this knowledge will help you play an important role in your loved one’s recovery process. This way, you can ensure they receive the right medications and take them correctly. It also helps you avoid any potential risks or complications that may arise from improper medication use.

Keep in mind that your knowledge becomes their power when it comes to managing medications. So, don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification from healthcare professionals and help your elderly boost their health.

Following Dosage Instructions

To improve the condition of your elderly, it’s crucial to follow the dosage instructions provided by the doctor or pharmacist. In other words, we can say that you must never alter the prescribed dosage without consulting a healthcare professional. It’s because taking too much or too little medication can have negative effects on their health.

In cases where a loved one is dealing with a severe health condition like cancer, it’s even more crucial to follow dosage instructions carefully. Cancer treatments can be complex and require specific doses at specific times. It’s essential to stick to the recommended schedule to ensure the best possible outcome.

It’s also noteworthy that if the cause of cancer is related to the 9/11 attack, legal options are available for seeking relief. The Zadroga Act assists individuals who develop certain health conditions due to exposure to toxins during the attack. Nevertheless, skilled 9/11 attorneys can provide guidance and support in availing of the benefits and compensation available under the Zadroga Act. So, you must get in contact with them.

That’s that, if the elderly have trouble swallowing pills, ask their doctor if there are alternative forms available, such as liquids or chewable tablets. Remind them to take medications with food or as directed to avoid any potential interactions or stomach upset.

Organising Medications

It’s not uncommon for elderly people to accidentally take the wrong medication or forget whether they have taken it at all. This can lead to avoidable complications and further affect their health, which is why you must assist them in organising their medications.

One way to do this is by using a pill organiser. This handy device has compartments for each day of the week, making it easier to track which medications need to be taken on specific days. In addition to using a pill organiser, you can set reminders or alarms on your phone to prompt your loved ones to take their medications. You can label the reminders with the name of the drug and the time it needs to be taken. This way, even if your grandparent is busy or forgetful, they will receive a reminder to take their medication.

Also, create a list of all the medications your loved one is taking. This includes the name of each medication, the dosage, and any specific instructions. This list can be kept in a safe place and shared with healthcare professionals if needed. It helps ensure that everyone involved in their care is aware of the medications they are taking and can provide appropriate treatment.

This is a collaborative post.

5 Ways to Maximise Profit when Selling your Home

31.5.23

Maximising the profit from the sale of your home is easier and more possible than you might think. If you wish to renovate your home and make it a place you feel is ready to sell for maximum profit, here are some top tips.


Deep Cleaning

It helps to deep clean your entire property so that it is ready to sell and for people to look around. Getting to the hard-to-reach places can prove tricky and dangerous - like the gutters and roofs. It might be a better idea to call in roof gutter cleaning experts for this job, so you can ensure the best results for the deep cleaning of your home. They will provide a safe procedure for cleaning your gutters and ensure the rest of your property remains safe and clean while performing the cleaning.

Instead of putting your safety at risk and risk damaging your home when deep cleaning its exterior, it is best to leave it to the professionals too. After the deep cleaning of the exterior is complete, you should move on to the inside of the home. Deep cleaning of every section of your home will ensure it is ready to sell and will boost buyers' interest. If they can move into a space that is clean and ready, it will encourage them to offer you the asking price, or close to it.

Make it More Sustainable

Another way to maximise the profit from selling your home is to make it more sustainable. Many buyers are looking for places that are kinder to the planet and more cost-effective. The more sustainability measures that are in place, the more affordable bills will be.

For instance, installing solar panels on the property will help to reduce energy bills, as they will generate electricity. This will help you enjoy cheaper bills and also encourage the new buyers to invest more in their purchase, as the features you have added will increase the value of the home.

Assess the Market

A great way to ensure that you market your home for the right price is to assess the market. Looking at other property prices will help you understand how much you can value your home for. If you try to sell your home for more than others, you might lose interest. Or, you might not get anywhere near your asking price. Furthermore, if you sell for a lower price, you will hinder your potential profit. Therefore, ensure to take time to assess the market so that you can price your property competitively and for maximum profit.

Focus on the Curb Appeal

Focusing on the curb appeal of your property will ensure maximising profit. For instance, having a home that appears clean and well-kept will guarantee to boost the interest of buyers. They will see your home and notice your maintenance efforts, which will likely be a reflection of the inside of your home. Hence, buyers will be intrigued and willing to pay more as you have kept the place in great condition, meaning they have less work to do.

Some simple ways to boost your home’s curb appeal include:
  • Refreshing the flowers. Having plenty of color and life outside your home will guarantee to make it look more appealing. Therefore, refreshing the flowers and ensuring they are lively will boost the appearance of your home. 
  • Painting. Repainting features on the outside of your property will ensure maximise the home’s attractiveness. Refreshing the door and fences will help the home look clean and fresh, ready for new people to move in. 
These simple measures will guarantee to boost the appeal of your home, which can influence buyers to pay more.

Negotiate

Most buyers will offer a lower price than what you ask for. It is normal and a great way for buyers to get a discount. If they want to negotiate, ensure to negotiate back. If a buyer offers a low price, you can go back to them with a higher rate and hopefully, they will say yes. You will always manage to get a bit more money out of people if you negotiate and offer them a price that is lower than the asking price, yet higher than their first offer.

Ensure to avoid going too low with your offer as it could hinder your profit margin. There will always be the chance to sell to someone else, that will offer more money. Therefore, it helps to be patient and have a minimum sale price to ensure you still attain a good profit.

Good luck with selling your home!
This is is a collaborative post.

The 5 Best Unicorn Gifts for a Unicorn Loving Child!

11.5.23

Looking for the best gift for a unicorn loving child in your life? Then this post is definitely perfect for you! With the help of Wicked Uncle I have put together a fantastic selection of 5 of the best unicorn gifts, perfect for a unicorn loving child - whether they're in to arts and crafts, fun and games or even a little bit of luxury, there's something for everyone. 


Wicked Uncle is a one-stop-shop for anyone searching for the perfect gift for a child of a particular age (from babies up to age 15 and beyond). Only the best products make it on to their site, which means you can be sure you're only going to be choosing from items of quality and age-appropriateness. The website is super easy to navigate too, as you can narrow gift ideas down depending on the age, gender, and gift type you're looking for, or you can even let Wicked Uncle help by choosing from their 'popular' product category.

I searched for unicorn gifts, and these are just 5 of the best that Wicked Uncle has to offer...

Unicorn Colour Changing Umbrella

We all know how unpredictable the British weather is, so it's always a good idea to be armed with a trusty umbrella just in case! This pretty umbrella is decorated in unicorns and rainbows and even features a super special glitter handle too. What makes this umbrella extra special though, is that once it gets wet, lots of mini unicorns appear as the colour changing magic happens. How fun!


Unicorn Stack - Balancing Game

If your child loves games, then you can't go wrong with this fun twist on the classic balancing game. The aim of the game is to stack the 15 pastel unicorns into a wobbly tower - without them toppling over of course! A great game that can be played with friends, siblings, or even solo. Play again and again for endless fun.


Party Unicorn - Crystal Art By Numbers

If your recipient is in to their arts and crafts, then why not choose this crystal art by numbers kit. It comes with everything you need to create a beautiful sparkling unicorn canvas, as well as a picture frame to display the completed artwork! I love that this is a gift that can't be completed within minutes and thrown to the side, as it will need time and care to get the shiny gemstones correctly in place. A fab gift for older unicorn lovers.

Bath Time Unicorns - Squirts & Lights up

A gift now for younger unicorn lovers, these fun toys would make a great addition to bath-time. The set contains 2 water squirters and a third that flashes and lights up when in contact with the water. Great for imaginative and sensory play - just be careful you don't get too wet whilst supervising!


Unicorn Sparkle - Luxury Bath Set

This final gift is something even I would love to receive - a beautifully gift-wrapped set of 5 handmade unicorn-themed bath time treats, that are also 100% vegan friendly. The set contains 2 scented bath fizzes, a raspberry bath creamer, a rainbow jasmine bath mallow and a solid soap scented with cinnamon and orange. Dreamy!

Have you shopped at Wicked Uncle before? What Unicorn gift would you love to receive?

This is a collaborative post.

4 Reasons Why Children Should be Learning History

29.4.23

Almost everyone does some form of history in school - but often, it doesn’t cover as much as it should. Many people also consider history as a subject to be surplus to requirements. The truth is, though, that history can teach us a lot about where we live, the people around us, culture, travel, and more. And sometimes, the more children get access to learning experiences that involve history, they might find their own era in time that they fall in love with. 


Diversity

One of the significant impacts that history can have on children is that they can see just how diverse the world is - and they can get a good understanding of how it came to be how it is now. Even if we grow up in a location with a lot of diversity, it isn't easy to imagine just how many cultures, traditions, and people there are in the world.

Identity

For children who often hear tales of people back in their family tree, reading more about the era, watching documentaries and movies, history trips, and more can help them build a much deeper connection to who they are. As we grow up, we often begin this search - who are we? Where did we come from? What did our great-great-grandfathers do? These questions can sometimes be answered by looking at history.

Inspiration / Devastation

There have been some historical figures that truly achieved great things, many who did good deals - and let’s not forget that some of the best writers, poets, painters, and architects come from way back when. There is a lot that can be inspirational when it comes to history- however, there are plenty of people and things to learn about that are the opposite. When learning history, there are some stark moments that shaped the world as we know it - and not for the best in many cases.

Skills

The more you learn about history, the more you see how things like trains, electricity, and even the TV were developed and by who. But, part of the joy of history is that you can start to implement skills like research. Research is a skill that comes into play continually through life.

History, and the learning of it, are considered to be an academic pursuit that forces people to think, consider, and understand things that we often can’t see. One of the most important skills we can develop from an early age is critical thinking - and history offers children the opportunity to get a start. History is a series of events that are connected, and children can start as far back as they like and slowly trace the progress of technology, the movement of people, and the events that shaped the world.

A child’s learning journey starts early in their lives, and it is something that many will do throughout their life. One of the ways to get a solid start is to consider what type of learning your child will need and enjoy the most. Why not start with this post - Are Playgroups Necessary for Children?

This is a collaborative post.

6 Tips On Finding a Good Family Home in Kent

In 2023, more and more families are choosing to move away from the eye watering property prices in London. Those looking to get out the city are seeking the help of solicitors in Maidstone and surrounding areas whilst they look further afield for the perfect family home. In this post I'll be explaining why Kent could be just the place for you and your family, as well as providing six tips for finding the perfect family home in this beautiful and versatile part of the country.


Affordable Housing

Figures show that house prices in Kent are around 33% lower than in London, meaning that families can get more bang for their buck - something which is on many people’s minds these days as we continue to battle the current cost of living crisis.

Excellent Transport Links

Kent is served by some great transport links including airports, ports, roads and train lines. This is great news for those whose work is based in London as the HS1 train line can speed you into the capital in just 20 minutes - giving you the best of both worlds.

Varied Choice of Living

Despite spanning just 1368 miles, Kent has something for everyone. From the coastal towns and villages of Herne Bay and Dymchurch to cosmopolitan cities such as Maidstone and Canterbury, you’re literally spoilt for choice.

Family Friendly

As if all of the above isn’t enough, Kent has some fantastic schools, colleges and universities with plenty of great restaurants, bars and culture. It’s also surrounded by some pretty stunning scenery, making it the ideal place to raise a family.

6 Tips on Finding a Good Family Home in Kent
Finding the right home in Kent for your family is the key to your success when it comes to your new life and, in this section, I'll share eight tips on finding your dream home in Kent.

1. Consider the size of home you’re looking for -
When looking for a family home in Kent, you will want to be realistic about the size of your family - this means figuring out if your family is now complete or if you may hear the further pitter patter of tiny feet again sometime. This can help determine the size of the house you’re looking for helping to narrow your search.

2. Consider your families hobbies -
Kent has an awful lot to offer and some great versatility. Because of this, you and your family will need to decide on what’s important to you in a location. In Kent, this means choosing between picturesque villages, coastal towns and cool cities.

3. Create a family friendly checklist -
Once you’ve decided what type of location you prefer, it's time to zero in on particular towns or cities. When choosing your town, city or village, there are a few things to put on your checklist, including: 
· Transport
· Schools
· Restaurants, bars and shops
· Crime rates 

4. House hunting -
Once you’ve decided where in Kent you would like to live, it's time to find a good estate agent to help you to find your dream home. Make sure that you take your time when shopping around for an estate agent as you’ll want to find somebody who has grown up in the area or has lived there for a long time to ensure that they know the location inside and out.

Thankfully, you’ll usually be able to find estate agent reviews online and you should make sure that you check these out as they can be a really good indication of how effective an agent is. Before making any decisions, make sure that you spend some time in the area - both during the day and at night - to get a proper feel for the place before committing to a move. 


5. Create a realistic budget
These days, desirable properties tend to be snapped up pretty quickly so you’ll need to make sure that you’re ready to go should you find your dream property. Be realistic with your budget and make sure that you have any necessary financial products such as a mortgage in place.

6. Check out property auctions for a bargain
If your house buying budget is pretty tight, you may want to consider going down the property auction route in Kent. This can be a great way of nabbing yourself a fantastic property at an extremely reasonable price.

Making the move to a new town or city can be daunting, but Kent most definitely offers more pros than cons. Make sure you do your research thoroughly as well as spending some time in your chosen area to make sure that it's right for you and your family. If you’re planning to commute, you’ll also want to give transport links a test run to make sure that it's a viable option for you. Around 1,707 people move to Kent every year and most of them never look back - so you’ll be in good company.

This is a collaborative post.

The Dangers of Ignoring your Health as Busy Parents

21.4.23

As a busy parent, it's understandable that your own health may take a backseat to the demands of everyday life, and caring for your children. However, neglecting your health can have serious consequences that can influence your ability to care for your loved ones and decrease your quality of life. It's therefore important to recognise the dangers of ignoring your health. From chronic pain and exhaustion to decreased immunity and hormonal imbalances, neglecting your health can manifest in various ways.

In this post I will share the dangers of ignoring your health as a busy parent, so hopefully by understanding these risks, you can take steps to prioritise your health and well-being, therefore allowing you to better care for your family and lead a happier, healthier life.


Hormonal Issues

Hormonal imbalances can impact both men and women, and neglecting your health can exacerbate these issues. In women, failing their health can lead to irregular periods, mood swings, and other symptoms. Men, on the other hand, may experience a decline in testosterone levels, which can result in decreased energy, decreased libido, and reduced muscle mass. These issues can significantly impact their everyday life, making it tough to keep up with the demands of work and family.

Fortunately, there are options available to address hormonal imbalances, including testosterone replacement therapy, which helps men restore their testosterone levels. As a result, it leads to improved energy levels, increased muscle mass, and a better overall sense of well-being. However, seeking guidance from a qualified healthcare professional before starting any hormonal therapy is important.

Chronic Pain and Discomfort

These are common issues for many individuals, including busy parents. Various factors, including injury, inflammation, and certain medical conditions, can cause it. Chronic pain can significantly impact your quality of life, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities and increasing stress and frustration.

It's significant to seek medical attention if you are experiencing chronic pain or discomfort, as various treatment options are available. These may include physical therapy, medication, or alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage. Self-care, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress-reducing techniques, can help prevent chronic pain and discomfort from becoming a persistent issue.

Increased Fatigue and Exhaustion

As a busy parent, neglecting your health can increase fatigue and exhaustion. A range of factors, including poor sleep, lack of exercise, and chronic stress, can cause this. When you ignore your body's need for rest and recovery, you can experience physical and mental exhaustion, impacting your ability to carry out everyday tasks. Over time, increased fatigue can lead to various health issues, including weakened immunity, depression, and anxiety.

It's important to address increased fatigue and exhaustion early on by making lifestyle changes such as improving sleep hygiene, taking breaks during the day, and incorporating regular exercise into your routine.

Chronic Stress and Anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety are common issues faced by many individuals, including busy parents. This can be driven by various factors such as work pressures, family responsibilities, and financial concerns. Neglecting your health can worsen these issues, as stress and anxiety can lead to negative consequences, including decreased immunity, difficulty sleeping, and even depression.

Addressing chronic stress and anxiety early on is essential to prevent these negative consequences. This can be done through various self-care practices such as regular exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Additionally, seeking support from family, friends, or a mental health professional can help manage chronic stress and anxiety. By prioritising your mental health, you can better manage the demands of everyday life as a busy parent and lead a happier, healthier life.


Difficulty Staying Asleep

Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep can be a common issue for busy parents. Various factors, including stress, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances, can cause this. Neglecting your health can worsen this issue, as poor sleep habits can lead to increased stress and anxiety, exacerbating the problem.

Lack of sleep can significantly impact your health and well-being, leading to decreased energy, mental clarity, and immunity. It's important to address difficulty sleeping or staying asleep early to prevent these negative consequences. This can be done by establishing a regular sleep routine, practicing relaxation before bed, and avoiding stimulating activities such as electronic use before bedtime.

This is a collaborative post.

How to Create a Safe and Healthy Home Environment for your Family

As a parent, being concerned about your child's well-being is natural. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 48 million people in the United States get sick from food-borne illnesses every year, and children under 5 are at a higher risk of developing severe complications from contaminated food. Thus, a safe and healthy home environment is essential for a child's overall wellness. In this post will I am going to share various ways to make your home a safe and healthy haven for your children, to hopefully give you some helpful tips an advice.

Keep your Home Clean and Clutter-Free

One of the easiest ways to ensure a healthy home environment for your kids is by keeping your home clean and clutter-free. Regularly vacuuming and dusting will help eliminate allergens and reduce the spread of germs. Use natural cleaning products that are free from harmful chemicals and toxins.

Keeping your home clean and clutter-free can create a comfortable and inviting safe space for your children. It can also save you time and money by preventing the need for costly repairs or replacements due to neglect or damage caused by clutter too.


Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is critical for maintaining good air quality in your home. Opening windows and doors can help fresh air circulate, but it may not be enough sometimes. Installing exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen can remove excess moisture and prevent mold growth, especially in areas with high humidity.

Did you know that poor indoor air quality can cause respiratory problems such as asthma, especially in children? That's why it's crucial to improve ventilation in your home. Additionally, using an air purifier can be helpful in areas with high outdoor pollution levels. This will help remove harmful pollutants from the air and ensure a healthy environment for your children.

Keep your Home Pest-Free

A pest-free home is crucial for a healthy and safe environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma affects 6.2 million children in the United States, and exposure to pests, such as cockroaches and rodents, can exacerbate their symptoms. It is essential to keep your home pest-free to reduce the risk of asthma and other health issues in children.

Therefore, if you notice a pest problem, quickly eliminate it using quick pest control solutions, such as hiring a professional team. Hiring a skilled team can be beneficial as they have the right tools and skills to stop further infestation. Don't wait. Pests can pose a significant health risk to your family.

Create a Safe Play Area

Use childproof gates to block off stairs and other hazardous areas. Install soft floorings, such as carpet or foam tiles, in your child's playroom to cushion falls, and keep small toys and objects out of reach of young children to prevent choking hazards.

Supervise your children during playtime to ensure they are safe and not engaging in risky behaviour. Remember, accidents can happen anywhere, so always be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries.


Ensure Proper Lighting

Adequate lighting is essential for maintaining a safe and comfortable home environment for your children. Bright and energy-efficient lighting in play areas and homework zones can prevent accidents caused by poor visibility. In addition, a well-lit home creates a welcoming ambiance for children and adults. Night lights in your child's room can also provide a soothing atmosphere and prevent tripping hazards in the dark.

Consider using smart lighting systems that allow you to adjust the brightness and colour temperature of the lights. With proper lighting, your child's room and the rest of your home can be a comfortable and safe space for them to grow and thrive.

Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

These detectors are essential safety devices that can save lives. Install them on every level of your home, including inside and outside each bedroom. Choose interconnected detectors so that if one alarm goes off, all alarms will sound. Make sure to test them monthly too, to ensure they're working correctly, and replace batteries annually. It's also essential to replace the detectors every ten years.

In addition, make sure everyone in your home knows what the alarms sound like and what to do if they hear them. With these simple steps, you can help protect your family from the dangers of smoke and carbon monoxide.

This is a collaborative post.

Tips for Getting More Time With Your Family

27.3.23

Spending more time with your family is one of the most rewarding things that you can do as a parent. Your little one’s are full of some many significant moments just waiting for you to share. However, if you’re a working parent, it can be easy to feel like you’re missing out. Of course, this isn’t your fault, and you should never feel guilty about having to work to provide for your family, but it can get disheartening at times.

Luckily, there are things that you can do to squeeze as much family time out of your daily life as possible, all without seeing your career suffer. So, working parents out there, here are just three top tips for spending more time with your family. 


Make Time for Time Management

If you commit yourself to mastering the art of time management, it can become one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal as a working parent. While time management doesn’t come easy to us all, there are steps that you can take to improve. It’s a skill, after all, and all skills need to be practised to make perfect.

The evolution of the digital world that we live in has ensured that there is an app for everything, and time management is no exception. Apps such as MyLifeOrganized allows you to manage and keep track of your tasks. And, when you use one app for work and family life, you can get the full picture of your day and plan in more time with your little ones.

Consider Remote Working

If the pandemic taught us anything, it was just how many careers can be undertaken from the comfort of our own homes. And without the commute to and from the office, you’ll find that you have even more time in the day.

If you work from home, you’ll always be able to ensure that you’re there for the school run, just make sure to schedule your meetings around this. And, if you’re a business owner, software such as Oleeo can allow you to automate time consuming tasks such as recruitment and even schedule in virtual interviews, so even your hiring can be done from your home office.

Make the Most of the Small Moments

Even the smallest of moments and the most seemingly mundane of daily tasks have the potential to be turned into family bonding experiences. For example, depending on the age of your children, you could make household chores a group activity. Take cooking dinner; recipe boxes such as Gousto come with handy easy to follow instructions, so let your little ones help you cook. Not only is this a great way to spend more time together, but you’ll also be instilling them with useful skills that will serve them well in later life.

Have you discovered the secret to more family time? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

This is a collaborative post.

Quick and Easy Birthday Cards for Forgetful Friends

18.3.23

It can be hard to remember all the birthdays of your close family and friends. But with just a few supplies, you can make quick and easy birthday cards that will remind your forgetful friends that they are loved. In this post I'm going to share how to make DIY birthday cards in no time at all (and without breaking the bank). With these tips and tricks, you will never miss a birthday again! 

Why Make DIY Cards?

Making your own birthday cards can be a fun and creative way to celebrate your friends’ special day. Plus, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! With just a few simple materials, you can create personalised cards that are sure to put a smile on the face of your nearest and dearest. 


How To Make Physical DIY Cards

One option is to go old-fashioned and create your own DIY cards, and this is a simple process.

Step One: Preparing Your Materials
You can find most of these items at any craft store, or you can even use items that you already have around your home. Here’s what you’ll need: card, marker pens, scissors, a glue stick, and a few decorative items such as stickers, ribbons, or buttons. To get started, gather all of your materials and arrange them on a flat surface. This will make it easier to create your cards. Then, cut your card into the desired size for your card and fold it in half.

Step Two: Decorating Your Card
Now that you’ve prepped your card, you can start decorating! Use marker pens, stickers, or other decorative items to give your card a unique look. Get creative and have fun.

Step Three: Writing Your Message
Once you’ve finished decorating the outside of your card, it’s time to write the message inside. Think of a heartfelt or humorous message that will make the recipient smile. You can also include a funny joke or quote if you wish. If you're not inspired there are plenty of thoughtful quotes or ideas online that you could use instead.

Step Four: Find A Cute Envelope
When you’re done crafting your card, find a cute envelope to put it in. You can use store-bought envelopes or make your own with some extra card. If you're posting the card, then you'll want to write the address on the front - but if you're hand delivering, why not get creative with the envelope too.

How To Make Digital DIY Cards 

Want to put your digital skills to the test, then why not try making a digital card instead? You’ll need a computer, graphics software, and some design skills to get started. But don't worry if you're not at all artistic, there are simpler options too!

Step One: Gather Supplies
To make digital cards, you’ll need a computer and an image-editing program (such as Photoshop or Gimp). You can also use free online tools such as Canva to make your card.

Step 2: Choose A Template
To make your life easier, start by choosing a template from an online template library or create your own from scratch. This will give you a good starting point and make the design process much simpler.

Step Three: Add Photos And Text
Next, add photos and text to your card. You can use stock images or upload your own photos to make the card more personal. Then, type in your heartfelt message or funny joke. If you want to make the card feel more personal, you can always leave the inside of the card blank so you can still hand-write the message instead.

Step Four: Save And Print
When you’re done designing the card, save it as a PDF file and then print it out. Once printed, fold the card along the lines and you’re all set! You could always use a professional online printing service to get the best quality for your card if you don't have the equipment at home.


How To Make E-Cards

Another option is to use e-cards, which are digital cards that you can send via email. The best option for sending to someone who lives in a different country, or loves their modern tech!

Step One: Choose An E-card Service
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to send birthday cards, consider sending an e-card. You can find many free services online, or purchase themed cards from sites like Hallmark.

Step Two: Customise Your Card
Once you’ve chosen a service, customise your card by selecting a design and adding photos and text. Some services allow you to send cards directly from their website or through email.

Step Three: Send Your Card
Once you’re happy with your card, hit the send button! Your recipient will receive the card instantly to their inbox, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting a birthday ever again. How clever is that?


DIY cards are a great way to show your friends and family that you care, and can be done easily even if you’re a forgetful friend. With these tips on how to make DIY birthday cards, you’ll never have to worry about missing a birthday again! Whether you choose to make physical cards or send an e-card from somewhere like Tickle Fluff, your friends will be sure to appreciate the thought and effort you put into their special day.

Do you like to make DIY Cards?

This is a collaborative post.

6 Ways to Keep Your Children Safe Online

16.3.23

Preventing your children from being manipulated online is challenging. You never know what they’re doing or what new threats they might face. Social media, gaming, and other online platforms all pose a significant risk, especially if your child is left to use them unattended. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect them though, and in this post I'm going to share 6 tips to hopefully help.


Encourage Critical Thinking

It's incredibly important to not let your child surf the web without intellectually arming them first. Encourage your child to think critically about the information they come across online. Teach them to question the source of information and to fact-check before accepting any information as accurate. Encourage them to be sceptical of clickbait headlines or sensationalist news stories.

Talk Openly and Honestly

Next, make sure you’re communicating with your child effectively. Maintain an open and honest dialogue with them about their online experiences. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns or questions they may have. Let them know that they can trust you and that you are there to help them navigate the online world safely.

Always be prepared to talk to them about their online habits if they approach you too. Don’t expect them to figure everything out themselves. They probably won’t and they could land themselves (and you) in significant trouble.

Monitor their Social Media Accounts

Parents should also learn how to prevent social engineering where criminals and hackers try to lure young people into divulging valuable personal information. Point out that children shouldn’t provide anyone with information they meet over the internet, and that they should only give out sensitive details with your supervision.

Teach them to Protect their Personal Information

Most children don’t know what sensitive data is. They don’t understand that personal information, such as passwords, addresses, and phone numbers, can be used by online manipulators to target them. Therefore, it's incredibly important to teach them to never share this information online, and to be cautious when asked to provide personal information. 

Set Clear Rules and Boundaries

Another great tactic to prevent your children from being manipulated online is to set rules. Clear boundaries around your child's use of the internet can include limiting their screen time, setting up parental controls, and monitoring their online activity. Ensure that you explain to your child why these rules are in place and the consequences of breaking them. Once they understand the reasons behind them, they are much more likely to follow them.

Use Online Tools

While advances in technology bring more risks, they also provide parents with the power they need to protect their children against the threats they face on the internet. There are many tools available that can help prevent online manipulation. These include parental control software, content filters, and anti-virus software. Take advantage of these tools to protect your child's online activity.

This is a collaborative post.