Family Fun Holidays That Don’t Need To Cost The Earth

Going away with the family gives you that opportunity to have the best in life when it comes to making those all important memories. You get the chance to to do different things together and get that quality of time away from the hustle and bustle of normal life and actually spend some quality time together. It can be extremely rewarding. However, some holidays can cost you a small fortune, which is why I thought I would share with you some destinations and holiday ideas that won’t cost the earth. I hope it gives you the inspiration you need.

Family fun holidays

Ireland

Ireland is one of those places that people actually have on their bucket list to see and experience. With beautiful countryside and rugged coastlines there literally is something to suit everyone. Whether it is places like County Wicklow, famed for the Wicklow way walks, the fabulous countryside and the Irish sea coastline where staying at places like the Powerscourt Hotel give you the ideal rest spot. You have the city of Dublin for a little more fun and activity in the city, or you have other places like Cork or Galway to explore. You could even consider staying in an Airbnb or a camping adventure for something a little different.

Wales

Wales might be a little closer to home, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less a great holiday destination for you and your family. Traditionally, heading to Wales may see you enjoying the nostalgic caravan holiday. With so many parks in some of the best location including the isle of Anglesey, Aberystwyth and Abersoch, to name a few. With beautiful beaches and fabulous tourist attractions all over Wales, there really is a lot to see and do that the whole family can get on board with. Again, if you do like the hustle and bustle of a city, the in the South you have Cardiff which is full of museums and shopping opportunities to enjoy.

The Canary Islands

Maybe you want to head somewhere warm, and I don’t blame you as our track records of glorious hot days tends to be a three day heatwave every now and again. So the Canary Islands are a real popular destination with families. Islands like Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria are full of family friendly resorts and hotels that you can stay in. The Canary Islands are also known for being great value for money, not just in the holiday package, but also the amount you spend when you are there. Plus the weather is always looking pretty good.

Turkey

Finally, there has been a lot of mention about Turkey in recent news, after the terror attack, Brits were warned not to travel there. This has since been lifted and with added measures in place the travel companies are offering some great deals to boost the tourism side of things there once more. Turkey has always been a popular holiday destination, and again is filled with family friendly resorts to occupy the whole family. It could definitely offer you the summer holiday you want without the huge price tag.

I hope this has given you some inspiration for some fun family holidays.

How to Have Fun with the Whole Family for Less

How to have fun

Entertaining your kids can be pretty tough at the best of times, but when you’re on a tight budget for family fun, it can be much more difficult to ensure that everyone has a good time, which is why I’ve put my thinking cap on to come up with some good ideas for family fun-time that do not have to break the bank…

Have a Board Game Night

There are many excellent board games available right now which are much more sophisticated than many of the child-friendly board games of old – games like Pandemic, Settlers of Catan and Flamme Rouge – which the whole family can enjoy, and although they tend to cost a little more than classics like Monopoly, they offer much more potential for regular game play. Not only that but more and more libraries in this country are offering board game rentals, so you can cut your costs even further. Make a night of it by popping some corn or ordering a pizza and you’ll have bags of fun for a lot less than you might think.

Film Night

It has never been cheaper or more convenient to watch a wide range of films to suit any family’s tastes. You have the option of sky tv installation, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kodi and much more besides, and although some of these options might seem a little expensive for some budgets, when you have pretty much 24/7 access to entertainment which means you can spend less on days and evenings out, it quickly becomes apparent how much you could save with a simple entertainment subscription. To make it fun, choose a theme for the evening or do a lucky dip by having everyone write down their choice of film on a piece of paper and then draw it out of a hat. Sometimes, it’s the simple things which are the most fun and film night certainly fits the bill for that.

Cook Something Tasty

How to have fun

You all have to eat anyway right, so why not turn the day’s cooking into a fun family event by getting everyone involved. This is particularly good for really young kids who love playing around with food – particularly if you’re baking cakes, and older teens who are developing their own tastes for the first time. As long as you give them some say in what you cook and you allow them to get hands on enough in the cooking process, they’ll really love it.

Throw a Dance Party

Invite the kids’ friends over, fire up the speaker system and have a blast singing and dancing the day (or night) away. It will only cost you the price of drinks and snacks and everyone will have a wonderful time while burning off a few calories, which is always a bonus.

Visit a Local Farm

Younger children in particular love visiting farms where they can see and maybe even pet a range of cute animals, and farm visits are usually very cheap. Best of all, visiting farms can be very educational as well as ensuring your family gets some fresh air and a good walk into the bargain.

What are your best budget-friendly ways to have a fun time with the family?

Making A Statement In Your Living Space

Are you bored of your living space? Do you want to wow your guests every time they enter your home? You need to make a statement. Making a statement in your living space can be done in a variety of ways. It’s a lot of fun, and really doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few helpful tips you can use when you want to make a statement in your living space:

Incorporate Larger Accessories

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners tend to make when trying to make a statement in their living space is buying lots of smaller accessories and thinking that it will improve the look of their home. Smaller accessories might be pretty on their own, but they can actually make a place look cluttered.

Instead of small accessories, hold out until you find larger accessories that you really like. You may only need one or two larger accessories in a room, and that will be enough to make an impact and finish it off. Hold out for an accessory that you really like – don’t just buy one for the sake of it. These larger accessories will often make your home look more put together and glamorous.

Living Space

Figure Out How To Incorporate Pattern

Incorporating pattern into your living space is a fantastic way to make a statement. You can include as little or as much as you like. If you’re going to include more than one pattern, there are a few guidelines you should look at following to make sure that it turns out right. Using an odd number is a good idea, such as three, and make sure you use around 10% of one, 30% of another, and 60% of another for a look that suits the space perfectly. You definitely don’t want to use even amounts of each pattern, because it’ll look strange.

Use Some Of Your Favourite Bright Colours

Make sure you incorporate some of your favourite bright colours, too. Bright colours look awesome against a neutral backdrop, as it really helps them to stand out.

Create A Few Awesome Feature Walls

Every home should have at least one awesome feature wall. Include one or two in your home and you will have nailed interior design. You shouldn’t have one in every single room though, as this would definitely be classed as overkill. To create your feature walls, you can use artwork, photographs, a mural, patterned wallpaper – just about anything you can imagine.

Choose Your Focal Point

In each room there should be a focal point; something the eye is drawn to when a person enters the room. Make sure you know what your focal point is and work on enhancing it and balancing out the room to create the best possible look. Your room may have a focal point already built in, for example, such as fancy traditional windows or a chandelier. You might want to add one yourself. Make sure you consider what yours is and you will be able to better make a statement in each room.

Never Let Your Children Miss These Appointments

Sometimes it’s okay for your children to miss school for the day when they feel a little under the weather. Also, it doesn’t matter too much if you’re late for school uniform fittings or something like that. However, there are some appointments you should never let your children avoid if you want to be the best parent possible. Read the information below, and it should help to explain why these check-ups and meetings are critical for your loved one. Allowing them to miss appointments of this nature now will only encourage them to do the same thing in the future, and that could have lots of adverse consequences.

Appointments

Dentist Appointments

There are a million and one reasons why your child needs to go and see their dentist for regular checkups. Firstly, it’s essential to note that dental professionals will often spot symptoms and warning signs before conditions become too painful or noticeable. So, there is a reasonable chance that visiting the dentist every six months or so could prevent your child from ever suffering toothache and dealing with the extreme discomfort. Also, you must consider the fact that a perfect smile gets you everywhere these days. Don’t let your loved ones ruin their chances of having healthy pearly whites by allowing them to avoid dental appointments while they are young.

Appointments

Doctor Appointments

Children can develop many different illnesses and complaints while they are young without their parents noticing. That is because your loved ones are yet to work out how to express themselves adequately or talk about the way they feel. All responsible adults should make sure their children never miss a doctor’s appointment at any point during their young lives. The medical professional you visit will check for symptoms of childhood diseases, and lots of other things that could hinder your son or daughter’s growth and progression through life. They can also offer advice and tips that will help you to improve your parenting skills and give your little ones the best possible start in life.

Appountments

Optical Appointments

Lots of people overlook the importance of making sure their children attend appointments with their optician. People who do not go for eye tests during their early years can often end up struggling in later life with no understanding of the cause. Lots of adults report headaches for years before they finally arrange an eye test and discover they need glasses or contact lenses. Children who can’t see properly will usually struggle to pay attention at school, and they are more likely to get into trouble and achieve poor exam results if you don’t take them to see a specialist.

If you manage to make sure your kids never miss any of the essential appointments mentioned in this article; you can call yourself a responsible parent with feeling like you’re telling a lie. When all’s said and done, some children will do everything possible to avoid their appointments and make you forget until it’s too late. With that in mind, do yourself a favour and invest in a diary that you keep out of sight. Your loved ones probably don’t have a decent idea of what it takes to remain healthy. So, sometimes you have to give them a nudge in the right direction.

Sellers Secret: Being Easy Gets You What You Want

You’re done, you’ve had enough, and you want to move out of your existing home. Welcome to the club say the other millions of people in the exact same position as you. They may also want to leave their homes, but that’s where the similarities should stop between you. It’s vital to your success that you don’t settle and never have a mindset of taking whatever you’re given when it comes to the price of your home. It’s a bizarre truth, but many homeowners just get sick and tired of waiting for the home to be sold that they compromise their entire position and take lower bids than their asking price. It’s easy to blame your real estate agent when things go wrong, but you are the only one with the real power when it comes to selling your home. No one can force you to do anything you don’t want to do. This doesn’t mean you can now be a hard case and demand certain things. In fact quite the contrary, you should be quietly confident by being easy because that’s how you get what you really want.

Don’t bite the bait

Putting your home out on the market means you’re now engaging the many different buyers at once. As your home will be valued before being listed, it’s important to remain calm as you get your initial bids coming in. Potential buyers will always hit you with a lower bid than your asking price. Rather than reject people who are obviously playing hardball, if you play your cards right, you can pit them against each other. Have an open house day on the weekend where everyone who is interested can come in and view the home on their own. Be present on the day to engage in communication with the bidders. Start a bidding war between the potential buyers right there on the spot. You’ll start to get offers from those who have come to view the home. As you’re talking to them, you can let them know that a party right behind them has put in a higher bid. By not biting the bait and rejecting a low bid, in the beginning, you have now pitted the interested parties against each other, and you come out the winner by getting a higher price.

Sell with speed

If you don’t feel as if you’re getting any good bids on the open market, perhaps you could try the private professional buyers market instead. If you click here, you can see how it all works. Flying Homes have a network of professional home buyers that would rather buy quickly and don’t mind paying a very attractive price for your home. These professionals may be property developers, corporations that wish to increase their inventory, private buyers looking to grasp the home on someone else’s behalf such as a wealthy client, etc. normally on the market real estate agents can get you around 70% of your home’s true value. This is pitiful if we’re honest because you’re losing tens of thousands of pounds. However because professional buyers have the resources and little time, they are willing to pay around 95% of your home’s real market value.

Play it cool and easy, and you can get what you want for selling your home. It’s important to not get into a panic state when no one is interested in your home initially. Don’t lower your standards for anyone.

How To Spend A Cheap Family Weekend In London

London is a great city with loads to do, so it’s perfect for a family weekend away. But once you’ve done all of the usual touristy stuff, it’s a bit boring the second time around. But don’t write it off just yet, it’s a big city and there are plenty more things that you haven’t discovered yet, a lot of them perfect for the family. The only problem is, London is an incredibly expensive city which puts a lot of people off. But there is still a lot of fun stuff for the whole family that won’t break the bank. Just follow this guide to a cheap family weekend in London.

London

Where To Stay

Accommodation is going to be one of your biggest expenses when you’re staying in London. If you’re staying in a hotel somewhere near the centre you’ll have to get a couple of rooms, one for you and one for the kids, and it’ll be expensive. It’s often better to get an apartment that you can all stay in. Visit http://www.londonservicedapartments.co.uk/ to see what’s on offer. Staying in an apartment of your own is often better than a hotel when you’re with the family because you can all stay together and it’s a lot more comfortable.

What To Eat

Eating out in London is another huge expense, but if you’re staying in an apartment you’ll have your own kitchen. You can still go out and enjoy some nice restaurants, you are on holiday after all. But you can save a good amount of money by cooking your own breakfast and lunch back at the apartment, rather than spending upwards of £10 each on something to eat every time.

Where To Go

A lot of the attractions in London are expensive but there are plenty of free ones too. You wouldn’t expect to find farm animals around London but if you head over to Hackney, there’s a great city farm there. The petting zoo is sure to be a hit with the kids.

If you’re there in the summer, why not spend a day in one of the many parks around the city. You can take a picnic down there and just relax in the sun for a day while the kids play.

There are also loads of great free museums around if you want to make the trip educational as well as fun. The British Museum is absolutely huge with so many great exhibitions on ancient Egypt and Rome and some interactive exhibitions where the kids can pick up some of the artefacts. You can easily spend an entire day in there and you still won’t see it all. Visit http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on.aspx to see what’s on at the moment.

The Natural History Museum is another brilliant one, housing some interesting exhibitions on Earth science. If you’re interested in the history of the city itself, head over to the Museum of London. It takes you through the entire history of the city up to present day and you’ll learn so much interesting stuff that you never knew about our capital.

It’s true that London is expensive but if you know what you’re doing, you can have a great weekend there without spending that much at all.

 

Turn Your Garden into a New ‘Room’

garden

We tend to think of our homes as being within the confines of our walls but the garden is just as important a room as any other. It might not have a ceiling but with the right ideas, this can be seen as a huge advantage!

The British weather is not really known for being fabulous for longer than about 5 minutes, but, if you are willing to try out a few small experiments, you can enjoy your garden all year round, drizzle and all. Here are a few ideas worth looking into.

Create a Fire Pit to Sit Around

The central focal point of the living room, kitchen and even bedroom in years gone by was the fire. Whether it was ornate with a fabulously carved mantel or just a simple coal-filled grate, man and fire go back thousands of years. In fact, we are now scrabbling around for focal points for our modern, radiator-filled homes.

Firepits are very easy to construct and as long as you have a good supply of wood and a few eco firelighters to hand, it won’t be long before you are toasting marshmallows either. Add a few seats and bring out some cushions when it is clear and you have the perfect entertaining space.

Build a Patio with a Shelter

Having somewhere to sit is always at the top of the list for a room and creating a space for that in your garden is a good plan. A patio reaching out from your door is a great idea, especially if you use the same flooring inside as out to give the illusion that the room just keeps on going.

Even in a small garden, adding some shelter will tempt you out in spite of the weather. Seating is also easy to arrange, and you can either choose an outdoor sofa or make your own by recycling some old pallets. This is a cheap but effective way to build some seating and you can make exactly what you want to fit.

Use Tall Plants to Stop the Wind

Though you might think that a small garden can’t take tall plants, used in the right way, they also provide a bit of protection from the wind as well as provide screening for privacy. Do consider the size of the leaves when choosing the right plant, though as larger leaves will look better on a larger scale than smaller ones. Proportion is everything in gardening.

Putting tall plants around the perimeter is the most common way to create screens but you can also segment your garden too. Tall grasses work really well in trough-style tubs and will wave in the breeze, not quite blocking the view down the garden.

With a bit of planning and careful design, you can create an all-year garden to enjoy. Fire and shelter were all our ancestors needed and with a few rugs and a mug of tea, it can be all you need in the garden too.  

Say “I Do” To A Personalised Wedding

Planning a wedding

When it comes to planning a wedding, you will no doubt be met by a few cliches. That’s because there are so many traditions surrounding weddings and marriage that most people end up having the same kind of day as everyone else. You know the kind of thing – church ceremony, a nice meal at the reception, and then an evening party.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with your wedding following these very traditional lines, but it can be nice to add your very own personal touches wherever and whenever possible so that you can help your whole day stand out from all the other weddings out there.

Wondering what you can personalise? Here are some fun ideas.

Invitations

Why start with the wedding itself when you could personalise it before it has even begun?! The way to do that is to send out some personalised invitations to all your guests. There are now lots of firms, like Paper Themes, that give you the chance to add some personal touches to the cards and invites you buy. Alternatively, you might want to have a go at making your own invitations. That way, they can be as personalised as you want!

Wedding Favours

The wedding favours are the small treats and gifts that are placed at each setting on the tables at the reception. These are often small presents that the bride and groom buy all their guests as a thank you for joining them on their special day. These lend themselves to being personalised. For instance, you might want to gift each guest a personalised bag of sweets or a tin of mints. Whatever you get them, I’m sure you could add their name onto it somewhere!

The Wedding Cake

You may not think that a cake would be easy to personalise, but it actually is! Of course, it won’t be the cake itself that gets personalised – but you can add some unique touches to the topper that sits on top of it. For instance, it’s now possible to buy wedding cake toppers that are brides and grooms made out of icing that look exactly like you and your partner. You might need to find a specialist bakery or cake topper company that provides this service, but it will certainly be worth it!

Drinks

Lots of breweries and specialist drinks companies now offer you the chance to create your own drink with them for special occasions, and many couples are now taking advantage of this for their wedding. For instance, your local brewery might be able to brew a one-off beer for your big day. You will get to name it and design the label for the bottles. It can then be served to all your guests at the reception and evening party.

These are just a handful of ways you might want to personalise your wedding. There are so many more; I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great inspiration for fun personalisation!

All the best for your wedding day!

You’ve Tried Everything To Lighten Your Dark Living Room, But We Bet You Haven’t Tried This

Dark rooms are never desirable. No matter where you are in your house, a dark space can feel claustrophobic and restricting. Never is this more of an issue than when your living room is at fault. This is the place where you spend most of your time at home. It’s where you come to chill out and kick back. It’s where you head to, quite literally, lighten your load. Only, none of those things are possible in a room with oppresses you as soon as you enter it.

Sadly, if your living room isn’t blessed with natural light, this is likely the reality you face. As such, there’s every chance you’ve tried all the tricks in the book. It may be that you’ve painted the walls white, or done everything you can imagine to get your lighting just right. Still, you can’t achieve the level of brightness you’re after.

It may seem, then, that you’ve come to the end of the road. Your attempts have failed, and there’s nothing else for you try. Or, is there? In truth, there are many more steps you can take to brighten that all important space. All you need to do is think outside the box to achieve them. Or, you could carry on reading and find out that way!

Where are the windows?

Windows

It’s likely you’ve been trying to avoid any significant renovation work during your attempts. After all, no one wants to embark on a voluntary building project at home. But, by installing more windows in that dark space, you can renovate with little work. This could mean getting skylights installed in that sloping roof, or expanding the windows you have. You could even join two windows, and install sliding patio doors which can bring more light than you would ever imagine. Once these additions are in place, keep them clean to enjoy a brightness you’d never achieve otherwise.

Shining surfaces

It’s also worth making use of shining surfaces within the room. You might have tried the mirror trick without success, but it’s time to take things up a notch. Reflective surfaces are fantastic for creating the illusion of both brightness and space, each of which is sure to help your cause. You could go all out with metallic wallpaper on a feature wall. Or, you could invest in a coffee table with a reflective surface which will do the job just as well.

windows

Take it outside

During your attempts, it’s likely that you’ve focused on your living room interior. And, that makes complete sense. After all, the room itself is the problem. But, by taking your efforts outside, it’s possible that you’ll have more success in brightening things up. Cutting back trees outside your windows can work here, as can focusing on those further away. While you don’t want to get rid of your garden wonders, you do want to make sure they aren’t impacting your light quality. So, don’t be afraid to prune branches which are getting in the way.

What To Do When Your House Breaks Down On You

No one looks forward to a house breaking down, but there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to the structure you’re living inside and the systems that keep it functional. Lights can flicker, there can be a water shortage, and your bath might just tipple over and start leaking into the rooms below. And because something is going wrong inside your own personal haven, you’re going to feel terrible about it. But don’t worry, this post is here to help!

Even if you know your home has a lot of value to it, there’s always a chance something is going to stop working, or blow up in your face, or fall through the ceiling when you least expect it to. Not to mention how ill prepared you’re going to be to deal with these events! So when it comes to working on your house because of something that’s broken and severely impacted your quality of life because of it, you’re going to need some tips.

Home

When You Find Damp

Damp can strike anyone at any time, and it always looks incredibly ugly on an otherwise nice landscape of the rooms you’ve decorated yourself. Not only that, but it can completely remove the effectiveness of any plaster, making the house weaker and colder at the same time. So we can immediately understand finding damp around your house is going to be one of the worst things for your health.

Try to get a dehumidifier in your rooms to make sure any excess condensation is out of your house, and open windows whenever you can. Similarly, make sure you don’t overfill any baths or take too long showers. Until you can get the problem actually solved, these methods will stop it from getting any worse.

When the Radiators Stop Working

If the central heating in your house has stopped working, you’re immediately going to be able to notice because of how much shivering you’re going to be doing when the nighttime rolls around.

If you’re living in a home you don’t own, contact the landlord or council services who do own the house to try and get someone out to solve the problem. You can’t go on with no heat in your house when we live in such a mild climate! Even the water won’t be the same. If you do own your house, always contact your provider to see if the problem can be repaired by them or if anything has changed on their end. For example, you can ring up customer services for British Gas and keep asking for a supervisor or details of your contract until you get the information you came for. Or you can hire out a private service, although this might be a bit more pricey.

There’s a lot of common problems that can happen around the house, and the above are the most likely to happen to you. Don’t worry, they can be resolved simply, and you don’t have to suffer long.