Potty Training – Our Experience

Girl Reading Book

Jess is now 3 and half which may seem late to have finally potty trained her. I think potty training was something which we were semi putting her off.  We have tried a couple of times to actually get her trained. I think the first attempt was around two years ago however, she was too young to be fully done. She got the aspects it and this meant Jess was not scared of the toilet or the potty.

We gave up because there was several signs of her not been ready. For example she was not telling us when she had an accident. Of course, this was fine with me at least we had everything which we had the tools to allow us to potty train. We had a step, a toilet training seat along side a potty. Jess occasionally would be using the toilet or the potty.

Last summer I was going to really kick start the potty training with her. I wanted her to be trained really before her 3rd birthday. However, as many of you may know our house move ended up getting delayed and this meant we did not have the summer. Instead I was having to take her on a lot of trains and a lot of travelling. This did mean that it was very hard to start potty training.

There was a lot of changes even towards the end of last year which stopped us been able to do it. For example of course we moved which meant that we no longer lived with my parents. Jess had to get used to this as well. Joe also went away for a couple of months around the same time my brother moved to university. Jess is very close to my brother they claim they are best friends.

Around the turn of this year Jess basically told us she was ready. She made us purchase her some underwear because she wanted to be a big girl now. We allowed her to use the potty when we was at home and wear the underwear. We spoke to nursery as they were on board and they wanted her to go in pants as well.  I think this was because they could also see the signs that she was ready. Jess was getting angry when she needed a nappy change I believe this was something to do with been embarrassed.

Of course, we kept her in pull ups when we was on days out and overnight. We chose to do this because of course, you do not always know where the closet toilet is going to be. When you first start training children do not always tell you much before they need the toilet. I think we kept her doing this for around 3/4 months. Once Jess was no longer having accidents when we was at home or nursery we allowed her to go on short journeys in big girl pants. We have not actually taken her on a couple day out without pull ups.

We ask her before we go out to try on the toilet and this then means that she reduces the amount of accidents. I think we have managed to do around 3 hours out of the house in big girl pants. We have not actually had any accidents when we have been out. Of course, I make sure that I have some spare clothes in my bag should any accidents occur.  I try not to get upset if she has an accident because Jess gets very embarrassed about it. This does mean that I have to reassure her.  I know it is going to be a while before we have Jess dry on a night. This is something which I do not have a problem with at all.

A couple of tips which I would give anyone who is going through potty training are allow your child to choose some pants. If you managed to do this your child will be more likely to want to wear their underwear. Make sure that you have the potty accessible to your child. This may be having it in the front room or wherever you child likes to play. This does mean that they then do not have to run to the toilet as fast. Then this does reduce the chance of them having an accident.  Do not put that much pressure on them they will manage to potty train in their own time. This is something which I did because you do not want them to get stressed about a lot.

What age did you potty train your child?

Charlotte xx

 

5 Things Before You Own A Dog

It’s been a dream to get a puppy for the longest time.  But, many obstacles have gotten in the way that have prevented you from purchasing a new 4-legged friend.  You feel that now you are ready to make your house a forever home for your puppy.

Your only concern is making sure your child is safe. They will be so excited to have a new playmate, but you want to make sure the dog doesn’t accidentally hurt them.  Let’s look at some things you can do to prepare your puppy to meet your child.

Socialise as Much as Possible

The more you can socialise with your dog, the more comfortable the pup will feel around people and other animals.  Your dog needs to understand how to deal with children and have a positive experience with them. If you are going to introduce him to children, make sure you have well-behaved kids around.  If they are not well-behaved, your dog will have a negative association with kids. This would also be the ideal time to get out and walk with your dog. It is also a great chance to get out and exercise.

Puppy Training Classes

As soon as possible, enroll your pup in a training class.  Many of the local pet stores will offer a variety of classes or you can talk to your vet about some suggestions.  The sooner you can get them into the classes the better. These classes will go over commands to teach your dog, routines to practice with them, and how to make sure they learn to stay by your side at the most important times.  

Avoiding the Jump

One of the hardest parts of having a dog is training it to not jump up on people.  You may allow it, but other people could be uncomfortable with it. And, with kids involved, you don’t want to have a dog that jumps.  The best course of action is to never let them jump up at all. Teach the dog to sit when he jumps. It may take a long time to achieve this goal, but dogs are smart and will catch on to the fact that you are not allowing it to happen.

House Routines

You will want to create routines for your dog in your house.  Train them to go to the bathroom where you want them to outside.  You also want to make sure they are not jumping up on your furniture.  You should consider purchasing a dog pillow bed as a symbol of their own space.  They should also be taught to wait for their food as this can be a time that a dog exudes food aggression.  This is something you will want to have implemented from day one.

Stay Positive

Positive reinforcement is key.  When the dog is behaving, you want to reward them as much as possible. You can praise the dog, pat the dog, or offer up treats. But, they need to see that good things will happen to them when they are doing what you expect.  You should teach your children to reward them the same way. Rules should be implemented for your child to make sure that they are behaving as well with the dog. The more consistent everyone is with the dog in the family, the better off everyone will be.

And that consistency will bring the family the lovable dog they have always wanted!

Charlotte xxx

Some Advice On Creating A Garden Paradise

Not everybody is a gardening enthusiast, but everybody wants their home to look and feel comfortable. Like it or not, your garden is a part of your home. And no matter how good your interior design might be, your household will feel incomplete if it has a shabby exterior design. You need to focus on your outdoor area if you want to make sure your entire abode looks good. It’s a practical improvement as well as a visual one. Still, if you need some help getting started with such a big project then here’s some advice on creating a garden paradise. It might just prove useful.

Focus on the natural side of things first.

In order to create a garden paradise, you need to focus on the natural side of things first. A few garden gnomes aren’t going to magically transform this outdoor area. You need to give it some TLC. You wouldn’t renovate a room in your home without decluttering and tidying up the place first, and it’s the same story for your garden. You need to mow the lawn, trim back the shrubbery, and plant some fresh flowers and plants. Your goal is to make this outdoor space feel bright and vibrant once more. You need to breathe some life into your garden. Let the beauty of nature shine through it. You could even consider planting some trees to add an extra dimension to your outdoor area. Perhaps you might want to install a pond in the centre of the garden to serve as an intriguing focal point. Get creative – this is supposed to feel like a paradise, so it has to be much more than a patch of grass.

Make a statement. 

If you want to create a garden paradise then you need to make a statement. Planting some fresh flowers and trimming overgrowing weeds are examples of things that will tidy the place up and freshen its appearance, but that’s only the start. You need to make bold statements; bolder than the vivid colours of your fresh plants and flowers. This is why it’s so beneficial to combine manmade and natural design. You should create a cosy patio area with some nice decking. It’ll be an aesthetic and practical addition to your outdoor space. You might want to consider getting some garden furniture for this area. That’ll really make it feel comfortable and inviting. You should treat your garden as if it’s your outdoor living area. In turn, you’ll start to create a paradise which you can enjoy for many years to come.

 

Spruce up its appearance with a lick of paint.

When you’re putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece, you should consider painting or repainting the manmade aspects of your garden. This could entirely transform your backyard and make it feel brand new again. For instance, repainting your fence or your shed could make a massive difference to your outdoor space. It’s a low-cost solution to improving woodwork that’s looking a little tired and worn-out. Plus, a new coat of paint could help your woodwork in the future. It’ll provide a layer of protection against the elements, so it’ll serve your garden well in the long run. When it comes to improving your outdoor space, you’d be surprised by the impact that small details can have on the appearance of your garden.

What do you do to your garden to make it a paradise?

Charlotte xxx

The Smallest Details Can Transform Your Household

The thing that deters most people from renovating their homes is that they don’t have the time or money for an extensive renovation. However, who said that an extensive renovation is necessary to improve your humble abode? The smallest details can transform your household. It might not take as much work or as much money as you imagine to make a massive difference to the appearance of your house. In this post, we’ll discuss some ways in which you could transform your household through the smallest changes.

Rethink your use of space.

You should rethink your use of space if you want to transform your household, and this can be achieved by improving the smallest details. Simply rearranging the layout of your home might make a big difference, but you can do more than that. Decluttering is a good place to start. Get rid of the junk that’s making your household feel smaller than it really is. Strip your house down to its essentials so that you have a minimalistic and spacious abode. It’ll really make the place shine.

Add a statement piece to every room.

Another great way to transform your household through small details is to add a statement piece to every room. As mentioned in the initial point, spaciousness can serve a home very well, but that doesn’t mean your house should feel devoid of character. It’s all about finding the balance so your household feels neither empty nor cluttered. Adding one statement piece to every room is a great way to achieve this because it gives a room a focal point without making the design too loud and noisy.

As for the types of statement pieces you use, it all depends on the space in question. You have to assess a room to figure out what kind of focal point would serve it well. Perhaps a nice art piece or mural would really tie a room together, for example. You just need to make sure you choose colours and patterns which complement the existing design in a room. A statement piece doesn’t simply have to be visually appealing; it can be a practical addition to a room too. Perhaps you could check out these leather sofas. That could be a functional yet stylish addition to your living room.

Spruce up your outdoor space.

You might also want to consider a garden project if you want to transform your household. Again, this doesn’t have to be an extensive project. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or cost-consuming. The smallest details can go a long way towards sprucing up your outdoor space. Simply mowing the lawn is a good start, but most people have time to do that. You need to think about the overall design of your garden. Perhaps you could plant some flowers or give your existing plants a lift. You might also want to create a cosy area for relaxation. Maybe you have some decking that you could flesh out into a full patio area. With some cushioned seating and an awning to protect you from the elements, you’ll have your own outdoor lounge.

How have you managed to transform up your house without spending a fortune?

Charlotte xxx

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2019

Today I am going to be sharing with you some ideas on what to purchase your Dad, Stepdad, Grandad or whoever you purchase gifts for this Father’s Day. Father’s Day this year is Sunday 16th June so do not forget, you still have some time when this post goes live to be able to pick up an amazing gift.

Card’s

You may not purchase gifts for your Dad when it comes to Father’s Day. However, I know the majority of people do actually purchase cards. I have noticed in the past few years they have not always been that amazing. However, for sure there is some amazing fun cards available from Danilo!. I was lucky to be sent these ones for me they are perfect because my Dad loves Only Fools and Horses. Of course, they feature Del Boy and some of his best-known catchphrases.

The other ones which I got sent was the Ladybird books Father’s Day Cards. Each card has quirky quotes to make your father chuckle. This would be amazing for a Dad who used to read the Ladybird books to you may be as a child. For sure these are going be an amazing card this Father’s Day. I would recommend checking out Danilo! and their cards. You can order from their website or Clintons, ASDA Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s and independent card shops.

Phone Cases

If your Dad is anything like my Dad and Joe they always are carrying their phones. Of course this does mean that often batter them. Whether this is in your pocket or if you drop it this is why you need a strong case on your phone. Hopefully, he reduces the chance of their phone become broken. Speck does some amazing cases you can get the designed for the ct which is drop tested for 2.4 meters which for me is enough. Then they do a sports impact range which is a 6-metre drop test. For sure this is amazing because who wants to break their phone. Saving your Dad from doing this I am sure you’re going to be his favourite child.

They also sell the grab tabs which allow you to hold the back of the phone between your fingers. This gives you a firmer grip meaning that you have less chance of dropping it. You can ever make your phone stand up so you do not need a holder when you have it on the desk. If you have a phone which allows you to wireless charge this is another element which you can do through the grab tab. For sure this is going to help me not drop my phone because this is something which I do often. They come in a range of designs so I am sure that you are going to be able to find one for your Dad this Father’s Day. Do not worry if your Dad does not have an iPhone they do a range of different brands.

Skincare

Men’s skincare is something which has boomed in the last few years. For sure Joe is now taking more care of his skin than he has been in the past as well. There is a new brand which has launched in the UK called Black Leopard it is designed for men by men. These products are designed to hydrate, soothe and revitalise skin. Great for Dad’s who may shave a lot I know this is something which Joe has to do for work.  The moisturiser is very thick which is great for men. A small amount goes a long so this does mean it is going to last for a long time.

The eye cream Joe has only just started to use it however, he is lucky and does not suffer from wrinkles but he can have dark circles. The eye cream is supposed to help reducing puffiness and dark circles. Increasing elasticity locks in moisturiser and plumps the skin to reduce wrinkles. For sure if your Dad likes looking after his skin Black Leopard could be a company to try out.

Experiences

Experiences or Days out are always something amazing to create memories. It could be a family trip out the Zoo or a Farm which is both something which Joe loves to. This is because they create memories and Jess loves wildlife. If maybe you a little bit too old to go on a day out why not treat them to a trip to the cinema. This is something which we do not get to do enough however, whenever we do it we always state we need to do it more. Of course, this means having to find a film which you want to watch which can be harder to do. If this is the case why not buy a movie and have a cinema night at home for the fraction of the price.

If you really want to splash out you could purchase concert tickets or experience that way. You could even purchase indoor fly diving experience I know they have some offers on at the moment. I have done a post all about our experience when we have been. For sure this is something which you and your Dad would remember for a while

Sweets

Sweets are something which most Dad’s like to consume.I know for sure this is the case with Joe and my own Dad. Jelly Belly’s are something which I have purchased a number of times for my own Dad. He even has one of the machines to hold them and you pay it every time you want a handful. For Father’s Day this year they have teamed up with DC Comics to launch a superhero collection, featuring designs of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman – the perfect gift for superhero dads this Father’s Day. Of course, these bags include the classic flavours which we have all come to love from Jelly Belly. These include Berry Blue, Blueberry, Cream Soda, Sour Lemon, Very Cherry and Wild Blackberry.  They are so cheap at £2.85 for 3 bags you could always get them out of your own pocket money.

Of course, you do not have to purchase Jelly Belly. You can always purchase your Dad’s, favourite sweets. This does mean that you can purchase a gift with a low budget. After all Father’s Day is about showing your Dad that you care however, you do not have to break the bank to do this.

Coffee

If your Dad is like me and loves Coffee then I may have the perfect gift for you to purchase.  This Father’s Day Midnight Blue Coffee is releasing a limited edition coffee. For sure something you will not want to miss out on if you have a coffee addict in your life. Midnight Blue, is releasing just 250 luxury gift boxes of exquisite hand batch-roasted Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. Each gift box contains a numbered, limited edition, signed roasting certificate, a personalised Father’s Day message, a presentation booklet and 250g of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, with a choice of whole bean, coarse, medium and fine grounds to suit your father’s preferred way of preparing his coffee. For sure this is one which would be amazing if your Dad drinks coffee this would be great however, this is not something which I could do for the men in my life’s as neither do drink coffee.

Phone Away Box

Does your Dad spend a lot of time on his phone and you wish he did not do this. I might just have the product which you need so you can enjoy more family time together. By putting your phone away it does mean that you can have more time to create memories because, after all, we do not know how long we are going to get to spend with our Dad’s. I know I am guilty of spending a lot of time on my phone and this can be a problem. I know Jess does not have a phone, however, even if Joe and I put our phones away for a least one hour a night this means that we have more one on one time with Jess which is going to be a huge bonus.  They hold up to 4 phones which means that should be enough for the whole household. It even fits the larger phone should you have one of those. This is an amazing idea because of course we can have memories and they are priceless.  You can purchase the phone away box for £13 from Amazon which I feel is cheap to create the memories which you can cherish forever.

A Meal

You could cook a meal for your Dad if you have the skills. Or you do not want to foot bill or on the other hand, you could take him out for a meal. Beware some places may make you actually book in advance if you want Sunday. Depending on what kind of food your family like there are a range of places you could go to eat. I would recommend Wildwood. They do some amazing Italian food as well as burgers this is a place that you could easily have just a main meal or have a three-course meal. I seem to remember when I have been previously a 3 course meal for 2 people came to around the £50 mark. You could take your Dad to his favourite restaurant it could even be somewhere that does a nice carvery.

Shaving Products

Shaving is something which a lot of men have to do. Whether like Joe it is for work or whether it is because they choose to for whatever reason. Of course, there are some amazing products which have come as a result of the this trend. Joe which Joe has been using for a number of months now is the milkman clear shaving gel. This allows 200 shaves I seem to remember for around £20. This would be an amazing present if your Dad does a lot of shaving for sure it will save him money and last him a long time.

Of course, if you do not want to get your Dad a shaving gel but still want to get him something shaving related. As you know this is going to be something which he will end up using. Wilkinson Sword have some products which could be what you are looking for. There is the Hydro 5 Sense  which is a razor which is customised for how you shave. It has 5 blades with skin guards to help reduce irritation it also has a flip trimmer which means you can get a precise shave.

On the other hand their is the Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Groomer which is designed to protect from irritation. Due to a gel reservoir which reduces friction by 40% compared to a lube strip. It includes the shaving, trimming, edging and hydrating. All within one razor which means that you do not need multiple devices. The bonus of this groomer is it is battery powered which means no need to charge it up. For sure this is going to be a huge bonus when Joe has to go on exercises.

What are you going to be purchasing this Father’s Day for your Dad?

 

Charlotte xx

This post contains PR samples however words are my own.

 

 

 

When Your Kids Start Doing Big School Things

For all parents who have been through this, you will know how difficult it is, for so many different reasons. The biggest has to be the fact that you have to accept that your child is now growing up, is being more independent from you.  That little school life that you once knew and love, is all gone. They’re walking to school on their own, shutting themselves away from you. Getting all sorts of new friends that you just can’t figure out. So it can all be a whirlwind of change when they start moving up through the years at school, but it still doesn’t take the importance of you away. You still need to be that guiding light for them, and that person they can come to for anything. School really is where the whirlwind of emotions happens, and if you can’t be there to support that. And then help them control the emotions, well there’s so many things that can happen. From depression to withdrawal, school can cause it all. But we’re not here to talk about the negatives. We want to go through with you some of the things that kids start doing in big school, and how you can nurture them through it!

Exploring More

Now this is one of the best things that happens when your kids start to go through the years, and up to school. They get the opportunity to explore parts of the world, explore parts of the country you live in. They may become more curious about what surrounds them. 

A school trip is so much more educational than anything you would have done with them as well. It’s a great way for them to gel with the friends they’re making, so much quicker. Getting out and away from the school, learning in a different environment, is also so important. Being in the classroom all of the time can be mind numbing. Just think about how you feel when you have a training day, and you’re sat in a classroom all day. It’s just not the place you want to be, and your kids will feel the same. So always try to facilitate these school trips, even if the price keeps going up and up. It’ll help them to have a healthier attitude towards school, and their surroundings!

A Big Group Of Friends

The peers that your kids surround yourself with are really going to have an effect on them. And it’s either going to be positive, or negative. But the things is, it’s rare for a child to notice when the effect is negative, because all they’re trying to seek is approval from their peers, and to be wanted by the group. It can potentially lead to damaging behaviours, such as acting up in school, lying at home, and causing mischief in the community. If this starts happening, you want to try and guide your child away from the people they’re with. Making them towards people who are going to have a better influence. If your kids are already surrounded by a good group, then you’re in luck. They can really help to lift the spirits on a bad day, educate them in the right way, and create fun in their life that family just can’t!

Big School Problems

When big school problems come, you really can have a pickle on your hands. The most worrying problem you’re going to face, is when your child is not meeting the grades that they’re supposed to get, having comments from teachers that they’re not as interested when in class.

Once a child starts to find school demotivating, it’s so hard to get them back on track. But one thing you can do, is put extra focus on the subjects they do like. Then try and  link them to the subjects they don’t. For example, a common one for kids to love is sports, so you could say that if they want to keep going with their sports. They could turn this into a career one day both me and my brother have sports related degrees. Start a reward system for every good grade that they get as well!  They more they think they can get out of it, the more they’re actually going to work to get something out of it!

Lashing Out

This one closely links to the big school problems they have, but when they start lashing out against you. It usually links to things going on in school, or changes happening to them. When they do start to lash out, don’t be that force bearing down on them. Learn to become more like their friend, and someone they can confide in. They’re going to lash out so much more if they know they have all of these rules to follow, and that you’re enforcing them.

 

Tips For A Cosy Night In

Sometimes all you want at the end of the day is a cosy night in. Life can get a little hectic, and it’s good to take some time out and spend your evening indoors. So here are some tips for a cosy night in.

Take A Bath

After a hard day at work, your body can feel physically tired.  There’s really nothing like a hot bubble bath to relax the muscles. Oils are great for infusing into a bath so that you can breathe in this into your body to help relax the mind too. Go to town with any bath bombs or bubble bath that can create a ton of bubbles and sink into.  For sure Lush is a company which I would recommend checking out. Then you can rest your body for a good half an hour. After your bath, you can wrap yourself up with hotel quality bathrobes from Richard Haworth. Let your hair dry naturally for a change and spend some time relaxing in your robe before getting changed.

Cook A Meal With Your Partner Or Friends

Cooking a meal is made much more fun when you’re doing it with your partner or friends. It’s a chance to do something fairly easy and that way you can catch up with the latest that’s been going on in your life. It’s also saving you money by not getting takeaway and cooking the food yourself instead – it’s likely to be a bit healthier. Open a bottle of wine and have a glass while you cook.

Have A Movie Marathon

Movies and your favourite television programmes are always a great way of having a laid back evening in front of the TV. Treat yourself to a movie marathon, whether that’s something you’ve watched before, maybe a series of films in the same genre. Disney films are good for channelling your inner child. Or perhaps something action-packed or those that are full of horror and gore. Whatever you choose, it’s something to watch while you graze on food and drink some sort of beverage.

Do A Pamper Routine

We don’t give ourselves enough self-care, and that can have an impact on our state of mind mentally. So it’s important to treat yourself to a pamper evening every now and then. A pamper routine might be doing a gazillion skincare steps, just putting on a face mask or painting your nails. It’s some time dedicated to you and your body to appreciate it and to make it feel good. Have these pamper sessions on your own but if you have a friend over, pamper one another!

With a busy lifestyle for many, we don’t get enough time to really enjoy our nights in. However, it’s good to set aside some time every now and then to relax. Give yourself a pampering, take a hot soak in a bath and when you’re cosied up on the sofa, enjoy a movie marathon with all of the popcorn and fizz. There’s nothing better than putting your feet up and letting your mind and body unravel and relax.

What do you do when you have a cosy night in?

Charlotte xx

 

Finding Time To Exercise As A Busy Parent

Once you’ve made the decision to get fit, one of the toughest challenges you have to face is finding the time. As a parent, your day is jam-packed from the moment you open your eyes. Between making lunches, cleaning clothes, helping out with homework. There is very little time to much much else, especially spend hours in the gym. However, with some planning and creativity, even the busiest of parents can find the time for a regular work out. With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to fit exercise into your hectic family life.

  1. Set An Earlier Alarm

The earlier you wake up each morning, the more you can get done with your days, including exercise. If you have a difficult time fitting a workout into your usual routine. Then create a new one by waking up a little earlier each morning. Between thirty minutes and an hour is plenty of time for a decent workout. If it makes things easier, you could put your exercise gear on first  Getting your workout over with earlier means that you can focus on your kids the rest of the day.

  1. Create An Exercise Space

When you need to travel all the way to the gym to exercise, it makes it a lot less likely that you’re going to bother. This is especially true if your gym is far away or you don’t have anyone to watch the children. Rather than succumb to this excuse, you should create an exercise space in the home. You could make this area anywhere, from a corner of the living room to a spare bedroom upstairs. When the weather isn’t too harsh, you could even work out on the grass in the garden.

  1. Trade-Off Workout Times

Those that prefer to exercise in a gym can benefit from making friends with other fitness-minded parents. When you both need and want to work out, the simplest solution is to do so at different times. This means that you can take turns looking after one another’s children. If you like to exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, you could ask your new friend to watch the kids and then return the favour when they want to workout Wednesdays and Fridays.

  1. Join A Fitness Class

You may have someone watching your little ones for you, but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend hours away from them. Because of this, you should create a more efficient workout. Rather than waste precious minutes wandering around the gym looking for something to do, you should join a fitness class. These classes have qualified instructors to lead them, which means that you’ll know exactly what you should be doing. They also only last around an hour a session.

  1. Choose The Right Gym

Gyms these days realise that some parents aren’t going to have anyone to watch their little ones while they work out. For this reason, certain chains offer a child care service. These establishments let you exercise, knowing that someone qualified is looking after your children. Some of these gyms even offer activities for the whole family, allowing you to work out together. Switching to one of these fitness centres, therefore, can benefit your kids as much as you.

  1. Play With The Kids

Playing with children is one of the best ways for parents to exercise. It’s fun, it offers quality time with the kids, and it’s also free. To make the most of this play time, you should stick to buying your little ones toys that encourage exercise, like footballs and bikes. Even Play Like Mum’s Silver Cross dolls’ prams encourage your kids to walk and run. Exercise doesn’t need to be boring, it just needs to be active, so find activities for playtime that get the family moving.

  1. Use Your Down Time

After a long and tiring day, there’s nothing most of us enjoy more than laying on the couch to watch some tv. Rather than ditch this downtime to fit in a workout, you should try merging both activities. You could run on a treadmill, for example, or do push-ups while you have your eyes on the screen. Some people also walk up and down the stairs or run around the block while the adverts are on. Keeping exercise equipment by the TV will remind you to do this.

  1. Get The Family Involved

Exercise doesn’t have to be an activity that you do alone. There are many ways to work out as a family that are fun and beneficial for everyone. You could take walks together, go on bike rides, play tag in the park, or organise family football matches. You could also take your little ones swimming or to dance classes. Once your kids start to see how fun exercise can be, they’ll want to do it more and more so you won’t need anyone to look after them while you work out.

  1. Make Chores More Active

Just like you can combine downtime or playtime with exercise, you can do the same with the chores too. Instead of taking your car to a car wash, you can clean it yourself with a bucket and sponge. This means that you’re moving, which counts as exercise. You can also walk on the spot while you iron and fold the clothes instead of standing still or dance around while you dust. Many outdoor chores, like gardening and sweeping the driveway, can also be made more active.

  1. Move At Every Opportunity

Every little helps when it comes to your health and fitness. If you can’t spare the time to go to the gym each day, then you should find other ways to be active instead. You could go up the stairs, rather than taking an elevator, for example, or walk your little ones to school instead of driving them. If you’re helping your kids with their homework, stand up while doing so, instead of sitting down. None of these activities requires much effort, but they do add up over the days.

Hopefully this helps you to be able to have more time to exercise. I know this can be something which I struggle with as well.

Charlotte xxx

Top Tips to Help You Save on Big Purchases

If you want to save money, then you can quickly start thinking about all of the things that you need to stop spending on. But when you live an ultra-frugal lifestyle it can get pretty exhausting, right? While saving money can be such a good thing, that can feel good too. However, it can be hard to stick to it, but can also mean that people are living in extreme ways. For example, if it gets to the point that you are looking for hours to get a coupon for 10% off a tiny purchase.  Then maybe you need to take a step back and look at better ways to be doing things.

Of course, though, there are plenty of times when being frugal can be such an important thing that can help you. More so when it comes to large purchases. A 10% off coupon for something like a bottle of shampoo might seem pointless.  But when it comes to getting a new TV or washing machine, that 10% off can be a really great saving. So if you are going to be making some big purchases soon.  It can be worth putting in some of those hours to make sure that you’re able to get the best deal. So here are some tips and tricks to help you save, as well as get the best savings, on those big ticket items.

Discounted Gift Cards

If you are looking for a hack to save money on some big ticket items. Then it can be a great idea to look to get some discounted gift cards to make that purchase. You can buy some gift cards at a discount, meaning that you get your savings there. Then use the cards for the purchase. There are sites like CardPool where you can get these discounted gifts cards online, ranging from 1% to 15% off the face value of the card. This does depend on the shop or brand. So doing some research as to where to buy your large item will help you know which gift cards to be buying. Of course, you can use these alongside other discount codes and discounts to make the savings even greater.

Buy Used or Refurbished

If you want to save money, and really get some bargains. Have you thought of buying things that are new to you, rather than brand new? It is commonly known that something from a charity shop is going to be even more of a bargain. So for things like furniture, buying used can be a good way to go as you can save quite a lot. Sometimes they even have brand new items in some charity shops. 

Of course, there are large ticket items like TVs and laptops that you might be looking to buy, might be harder to source from a charity shop. So with these kinds of things, look to get them refurbished instead. A refurbished item is something that has been used before, but it will have been checked and inspected before selling. This is to make sure that the items still does work. Apple products are commonly refurbished and sold in stores, and you can get some real savings with those.

Get with Credit

If you have a large purchase to make, then using a credit card, or getting something on credit can be a good idea.  To start off with, buying something on a credit card can come with a lot of consumer protection. That a regular debit card doesn’t have. One of them is that if the item goes into the sale within a certain time period after buying it. Then you can apply for the difference back, using a price rewind feature. You could always pay the credit card off in full straight away. 

There are a lot of cards that will come with introductory offers such as 0% interest . This can last for a year or a set amount of time. This can be a good idea if you have a large purchase to make, don’t have the money up front.  But you know by the time period being out, you will have. As long as these things are paid off in full, then it can be worth it for the savings. You may also have a card with a cash-back program, then you can earn points or miles.  That can be redeemed for purchases, such as flights or groceries.

You could always look for something like secured homeowner loans from Evolution Money if you are in need of something substantial, such as major home repairs or adding an extension to your home, for example. Again, as long as you have planned it out financially and know that you can afford the repayment. Then it could be something that can work for you if needed. So don’t always dismiss credit as something that is bad, it can be something that works for you.

 

Do you use comparison sites for your bills?

Saving money is something which I love to do. You may have see that I have spoken about it in some of my goals post and I have even done posts about saving money. People think about putting pennies away and doing side hustle. People do not always look if they are getting the best deals on bills which they have to pay. This is something which we do often maybe ever 3 months. We always are using comparison site to get the best deals. We have found that we have been able to save a bit of money I think we save £100 this year at least.

Gas and Electric

There is a lot of compare sites which allows you to get the best deal on your gas and electric. Every year we lock in our gas and electric to make sure that we are getting the best deal.  I have the date our contract runs out on my phone and a month or so before I will check the deals. Usually I end up switching which means that I end up with more pennies at the end of the month. I am sure a number of you do this as well. Usually I end up using a comparison site in order to get the best deal.

Insurance

Of course, there are other bills which you can save money on. This year I am going to be checking our house insurance to make sure that I can not get a better deal. I have always checked Joe’s car insurance to make sure that he is not paying to much and have always managed to get him a better deal. Saving money is something which I love to be able to do. It can be time consuming however, you always feel better if you are able to save some money. Again I use a lot of comparison sites. This saves me having to go on every different company’s site to get the best deal.

Mobile

I usually look on comparison sites when I am looking for the best deal on my mobile. Then I do pop over to Sky Mobiles website because there not on there. I managed to save myself £3 a month on my contract when my last contract ran out. I even managed to get more data. Since I am now on Sky Mobile I am able to change the amount of data I get every month. This means that I can change how much my bill is and my data does roll over. Another bonus which I love about my contract is if sky offer a deal I can take it up and not affect my contract. This is something which I have done recently. I managed to save another £5 a month which is a huge bonus. Of course, all the £5 a months you save soon add up.

Broadband And TV

The bill which you can change that I did not have a comparison site for is for my‘ broadband and tv. Currently I am locked into a package however, I know this is not going to be the case forever. This was until I came across a site which allows you to compare broadband and TV deals. As someone who loves sports I always want to be able to keep a package which can have a the sports channels. I have found some deals which are cheaper than I am currently paying. Once my contract is over I think I may change to save money. For sure this is going to be a website which I am going to be using a lot.

Do you ever compare your bills to make sure that your getting the best deals. You could be saving a lot of money and they could go things such as Christmas for sure it is not too early to think about that.

Charlotte xx