Sunday, 23 July 2017

Taking Care Of Mum: Health Tips For Every Stage Of Parenthood

As a parent, you focus all your energy and attention on making sure your kids are happy and healthy, but it’s important to devote a little time to your own health and wellbeing. If you’re thinking of expanding your family or you have growing kids that keep you rushed off your feet, here are some health tips that may come in handy.

Pre-pregnancy

Many people start taking better care of themselves when there’s a baby on the way, but if you’re trying to conceive, it’s really important to focus on your health before that test comes back positive. Try and avoid stressful situations, eat well, make sure you get enough sleep and exercise on a regular basis. Start taking supplements like Pregnacare Conception to boost your folic acid levels, and relax. If you’ve decided that you want a baby, you may become impatient and anxious if you don’t get results overnight, but hang in there. It can take some couples much longer to conceive than others. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you are having difficulties, it’s a good idea to use ovulation tests so that you can keep track of your most fertile days. If you’ve been trying for longer than 12 months, see your doctor.



Pregnancy health

Pregnancy is a unique experience, and no amount of tales and tips from other mums will prepare you for what happens to your body over the course of those 9 months. Some women love being pregnant while others really struggle. Common health problems during pregnancy include tiredness, back pain, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and morning sickness. If you are pregnant, try and take it easy, manage stress, and rest when you need to. See your GP if you’re finding it difficult to cope with the symptoms or you have extreme side-effects such as constant vomiting.



Surviving the first few weeks

When your newborn baby arrives, you may experience a mixture of emotions. It’s so exciting to have this little person in the world after months of anticipation, but it’s also a scary prospect. There’s no parenting manual to follow, and you have to use your intuition and learn on the job. For the first few weeks, looking after that precious bundle will be exhausting, and at times, you may wonder how you’re going to make it through without any sleep. Try and nap when you can, use your support network, and try and have short periods of time when you can have a few moments to yourself.



Dealing with hectic schedules as your kids get older

When your kids get older, you’ll find that life can get very hectic. You’ve got school runs to do, parties every weekend, after school clubs and sports sessions to juggle, as well as other commitments. It can be difficult trying to find a balance, which enables you to concentrate on yourself, as well as your little ones. Try and manage your time so that you schedule downtime and pay as much attention to your health as you do your children’s. Adopt healthy living habits. Get out and about, prepare healthy meals, have fun together, and keep up to date with health checks and dental appointments. If you’re stressed out, don’t struggle in silence. It’s very common for parents to experience bouts of severe stress. Whether you feel like you’re always swimming against the tide or you have issues like money worries or you’re trying to care for your parents at the same time as raising kids, there is help available. See your doctor if stress is affecting your health or you feel like it’s getting worse.



Navigating the stormy teenage seas

The teenage years throw up all kinds of challenges for parents. There are changing attitudes and mood swings to deal with, your kids may lose interest in affection, and there may be sleepless nights to contend with as you wait for your children to get home from a party or wonder if they’re safe as they hit the roads. It’s really beneficial to try and communicate with your children as they get older, and to be open with them, and encourage them to talk to you. If you know what’s going on in their head, and they understand that you worry about them, you can both take steps to make life easier.




As a mum, you probably spend most of your time worrying about your kids and making sure you do everything possible to make them happy. It’s hugely important to be caring and compassionate, but you also need to pay attention to your own health. Parenting is no walk in the park. Hopefully, this guide will help you to stay fighting fit every step of the way.

*collaborative post




Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tips To Help Moving Home A Stress-Free Process

Moving house can be a stressful event. In addition to the stress of buying and selling a house, the actual process of moving is one that many people dread. Often it is done last-minute, without a clear plan in place, leaving things a complicated mess that needs to be dealt with. Get a grip on the situation and try out these top tips for moving home that will help make it a much simpler and stress-free process.

Make a schedule

Working backwards from a deadline is something we often do at work and can work well for home projects too. Start with the date you intend to be fully in your new home, and then plan in when you’ll need to pack, which bits you can start moving first when to clean and all of the other elements of moving home. Having a clear moving schedule will break the process up and make it easier to manage and will help you be more organised as you prioritise different tasks on different days.

Image: Pexels

Have a clear-out

There’s no point taking anything with you to your new house that you either no longer need or want. Organise a clear out weeks or months before you move to make sure you’re only taking the things that are necessary. Go through your clothes, shoes, kitchen items and everything else to see what’s broken, what needs fixing, what can be donated to charity and what can be sold. You may find that you’re able to sell a lot of items that you no longer need that will help you pay for new furniture in your new home.

Buy proper packing materials

Nothing’s worse than breaking or damaging items during a move. It can be tempting to wrap fragile items in newspaper or use old and broken boxes to carry things in, but you’ll wish you’d packed everything properly if something were to end up damaged. You can buy cheap packing materials from Argos and other retailers to help make it easier for you to move, and learn top tips about packing to move online.

Call in the professionals

Many people dismiss the idea of getting in a removal company to help you move, but it could be the best money you’ll ever spend. Having a removal company like Grange Removals that knows what it’s doing will make moving home a lot less stressful, as well as freeing up your time to get on with other things, such as doing the final moving out clean. Removal companies will pack and move your items and make sure they end up in the right place when you arrive at your new home. Many people rave about the convenience of hiring a removal company, and it’s easy to see why.

Despite the stress and time, moving home is actually becoming easier. A bit of careful planning and being clever with your time can help make the process easier for you and your family, making it a smooth ride to your brand new home.  

*collaborative post


Time To Relax: How To Get Away From Everyday Stress

adult, chair, concentration

This probably isn't going to come as much of a surprise, but it turns out that life can be pretty stressful a lot of the time. Between work, family, relationships, and trying to keep up some semblance of a social life, it's easy to find yourself becoming incredibly stressed out and struggling to juggle everything all of the time. That's why it's incredibly important to get away from those causes of stress every so often. There's nothing wrong with needing to step away from the general difficulties and frustrations of everyday life and here are just a few simple ways for you to do it.

A date night with your partner

One of the hardest things about living a busy life is that you and your partner can often feel as though you simply don't get to spend any time together. This can cause a lot of problems in a relationship and often make you feel as though you're drifting apart. If that's the case, then make an effort to set up a regular date night where you can just spend some time together, no work, no kids, no friends, just the two of you. This often gives you the chance to reconnect with each other in a way that can often be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, when you're surrounded by all of the other things in life that you usually have to deal with.

A family staycation

There are few things better than getting away from work with the people you love and recharging your batteries for a while. Of course, not everyone has the budget to jump on a plane and leave the country every time they need a break. So why not have yourselves a staycation. That way you can stay in the UK but still escape the stresses of daily life. Whether you're relaxing by the fire in some Gower cottages or splashing around together in the Cornwall seaside, there are plenty of places for you to go in the UK where you and your family can rest and recover from daily life, as well as getting closer to each other.   

Find a personal hobby

One thing that a lot of people who deal with both work and family a lot of the time is the feeling that any time spent on yourself is inherently selfish. This is totally wrong. There is nothing wrong with needing to take some time for yourself every now and again. After all, just because you're a parent and a partner doesn't mean that you stop being an independent person. One of the best ways to do that is to take up a hobby that you can do all on your own. Whether you're making things with hobbies like pottery or knitting, or even something simple like taking some time every day to sit on your own and read a book for a while, taking the time to look after yourself is not only good for you, but it makes it much easier to deal with all of the things that modern life can throw at you.

*collaborative post


Monday, 17 July 2017

Are You Ready to Adopt a Horse?


You shouldn’t rush a decision to get any pet, even if it’s something as simple and seemingly low-maintenance as fish. But there’s no denying that horses require even more consideration than the likes of dogs or cats. Here’s a quick guide to ensuring you’re ready to adopt a horse.

Experience

Horses are demanding creatures, and the extent to which this is true often shocks a lot of first-time buyers of horses. If you’re thinking about buying or adopting a horse, then it’s highly recommended that you actually spend some time with a horse first. See if you can volunteer at a local stable; you can trade free work for valuable hands-on experience and education.


The costs

Pets are pretty expensive, more so than a lot of people think. Horses are among the most expensive of them all. The following sections will highlight the precise expenditures you’ll experience as a good horse owner. It’s vital that you’re in a good place financially if you want to raise a horse; it’s not just the occasional unexpected event that will cost a lot, as with many other pets, but general upkeep.

Food

No, your horse isn’t just going to be content to eat whatever grass is on your property. There probably wouldn’t be enough grass on your property even if that were the case! The fact is that grass doesn’t provide anywhere near enough nutrients to help horses sustain themselves. You need to make sure they have grains, salt, protein, and hay.


Space

If all you have is a standard backyard, then you should probably consider getting a different pet altogether. Unless your backyard happens to be at least an acre big, of course. You’ll need enough room to get “horse accommodation” from the likes of Vale Stables. You should really only consider getting a horse if you have a field of at least this size, or if you’re able to keep them on a farm nearby. (Which almost defeats the point of ownership!) They also need enough room leftover in which to run around to their heart’s content.

Companionship

You may have noticed that dogs and cats don’t tend to get all that lonely, although they have been known to appreciate company in the form of other animals. Horses, on the other hand, are known to get quite lonely indeed if they don’t have companionship. Another barn animal can make a great companion; this is why a lot of people who don’t want to own two horses end up adopting a goat! Of course, the best companion is another horse.


Tools

You’re going to need quite a few tools if you want to take adequate care of your horse. The first thing that people think of, and quite rightly, is brushes. Horses can’t really tend to their own coat all that well, you see - that’s up to you! You’ll also need to get hoof picks, as your horse’s hooves will pick up a lot of dirt and stones. This can cause foot damage in the long run. You should also get some blankets, as a horse’s coat isn’t quite enough to keep out the elements in cold or wet weather!

*collaborative post


Tips for How You Can Make Your Bathroom the Best Room in the House

The bathroom is a room that is often overlooked when it comes to the designing of a house. It’s a room that you get in and out of generally. Run in, bright and early for a shower and run straight back out to get on with your busy day. However, the bathroom can be such a great relaxing space if you make it that way .If you’ve ever thought about making your bathroom the best, most relaxing and inviting room, in the house, follow these tips and you will find yourself with something special!


1) Declutter your bathroom

The first thing you should do before anything else is to declutter your room massively. No one, absolutely no one, needs ten half empty shampoo bottles lined up along the side of the bath. You only really need one of everything, if you do need more, get a little box to put them in. Great storage is the key, maybe a set of draws, one for cleaning products, one for products you don’t use all the time (face masks etc.), one for the products you do use all the time and one for kids toys. Everything else can go! The room will never be a serene place if it is very messy.

2) Making it look glorious

The next step to having a fabulous bathroom is to get the design right! If you can, get some modern tiles and maybe a new mirror. These aspects are so important to the room. Having some Contemporary Interior Design could be all you need, maybe getting someone in to help you could be the best way to go, as they will have ideas to make it more unique. If you didn’t fancy that, you could do it yourself with some smaller changes, get rid of the old decoration, get in some new green plants, a nicer looking rug, all these things build a great foundation to your bathrooms design!

3) Don’t forget about the little things!

There are so many aspects to having a great bathroom! You don’t want to make it unsafe for the children, make sure you have things like anti slip mats and child seats for the bath. You also want to ensure it is easy to use and convenient for everyone. You do still want this to feel like your family bathroom so make sure the children still have everything they need, in places they can reach it. Don’t throw away your partner's anti dandruff shampoo, however hideous it looks on the side, just hide it out of sight!

4) Making the most of the room

The point of doing this room up nicely is for you to enjoy! A bath is the best thing to have to relieve stress, to calm down and just generally feel good. Make it the best experience by getting some lovely bathroom candles around; a few bath products for relaxing, maybe have some music going, anything it takes for you to enjoy your time, winding down! Make the most of your little getaway room!

*collaborative post


Average To Amazing: How To Take Your Garden Design To The Next Level

It’s summer, and for many of us, that means trying to spend as much time as possible out in the garden. We’re not blessed with long, warm days very often, so it’s only natural to want to make the most of every drop of sunshine. If your garden is looking a little uninspiring, and you need some creative ideas to take it to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips to take your outdoor space from average to amazing.

External structures

If you enjoy sitting out in the garden, or you like to invite friends and family around, why not consider investing in some external structures to give your garden a focal point and make the space more versatile? You can look at a range of options to suit your budget and your preferences, from conservatories and garden rooms to gazebos and pergolas. If you add a roof, you can use the garden more frequently because you’ll be protected from the elements. There’s also the added possibility of providing shelter if you do have friends over and you’re hoping to dine al fresco. You can find a conservatory or look at options like log cabins and summer houses online or search for innovative, imaginative ways to make more basic structures like a pergola look incredible. For a rustic feel, consider using sleepers and wrapping them in fairy lights and creeping plants. If you have children, you could also inject a fun element with designs like teepees or treehouses.



Plants and flowers

If your garden needs a new lease of life, why not hone your green-fingered skills and do some planting? If you don’t already have a patio, some decking or flower beds, now is the time to do some basic landscaping. Think about how you want your outdoor space to look. If you have a small yard, you can still add colour and interest with potted trees and planters. If you have a lawn, you can create beds at the side or use crates, pots, or buckets if you’re keen to preserve the lawn and you’d rather adorn the patio with plants. Using window boxes is also a really good idea if you have limited space. There are so many ways you can use plants in a decorative sense, and you don’t need to be an experienced gardener to get results. Take a trip to the garden centre, have a think about colour schemes, and do some research to see which kinds of plants will suit your garden best.



Finishing touches

If the garden is looking a little drab and unloved, some simple, inexpensive accessories could make all the difference. Hang some buckets filled with flowers or mini lanterns from the fence panels or create a cosy zone with throws, outdoor rugs and floor cushions. Add lamps and hanging bulbs and set up an entertaining area with a table and chairs.



If you wish your garden was reminiscent of something you’d find on Instagram or Pinterest, now is the time to take advantage of your creative skills, and take your outdoor area from average to amazing. You don’t need to spend hours turning the soil or spend a fortune to get incredible results.

*collaborative post


Fun Days Out For Cool Parents and Their Contrary Teens

Being a mother to a baby, a toddler, an infant, or a juvenile is difficult. Being a mother to a teenager is an absolute nightmare. You’re no longer cool or fun or (even by parental standards) you’re “irrelevant”, you “just don’t get it” and apparently your existence is devoted entirely to marking down time until you can embarrass them in front of their friends. They’re a nightmare to buy for and even if you can unglue them from their smartphones for more than ninety seconds, getting to muster enthusiasm for any family activity outside of a noncommittal “meh” can be like drawing blood from a pumice stone.

If you have high school aged kids and are looking for some fun family activities over summer but are nervous at the prospect of your attempts at a fun day out being derided by your Facebook dwelling youngsters then worry not! Here are some fun and accessible ideas that will break even their unflappable nonchalance without breaking the bank.

Race them to the finish!

Gokart.jpg

If your son or daughter is just starting to learn to drive then they’re likely being confronted with the harsh reality that driving is not what they were expecting.

They’re learning that it’s not all speed and freedom. It’s about learning to be a responsible road user who is considerate and observant and contributing to the safe and pleasant passage of all their fellow road users. It’s about hazard perception, emergency brake procedure and mirror, signal, manoeuvre...

So they’ll be just itching to throw all that out of the window at the go-karting track!

Taking the kids karting is a great way for teenagers to let off steam and indulge their need for speed. It’s pretty cheap too, especially since our friends at Lakeside Karting have a 2 for 1 offer. Maybe they’ll also get a humbling from mother dearest when you sail over the finish line ahead of them. Maybe.

Get them high… up a tree

As cool and sophisticated as the modern teenager likes to appear, give them a set of monkey bars and a zip line and they’re instantly 9 again! Go Ape have a variety of locations all over the country boasting a whole range of fun climbing activities that will not only help the family to bond but exercise their teamwork and creative problem solving abilities.

Give the family a legitimate reason to shoot at each other

110801-F-XD880-086.JPG

Paintballing incorporates two of every teenager’s favourite things… Simulated violence and mess! It’s fun, safe (so long as all parties are responsible) and pretty cheap at an average of £12.99 per person for a full day’s activity including £100 balls and lunch.

With the advent of video games, social media and YouTube, teenagers are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles which may be detrimental in the long term to their mental health, so it’s important to try and get them out of the house and moving wherever you can. They’ll surprise themselves at home much they enjoy getting outdoors, exercising, having a few laughs and bonding with the rest of the family in the most unlikely of settings.

*collaborative post