Important skills to teach kids

A gift that keeps on giving from a parent to a child is the art of self-sufficiency. Being able to live and prosper on your own is one of the most amazing skills that you can have in life. It’s really overlooked by parents and teachers because we live in a world that is modern and has anything we would ever need right at our fingertips. Unfortunately, life is always ready to hand us a big bowl of lemons from which we will either taste the sour and bitter flesh from, or we will make a delicious Sicilian lemon mousse. It’s this kind of approach that allows us to keep our heads up when we get older and have to live on our own. Children need to be taught things that make themselves self-sufficient early on in life so they see it as natural when they are grown up.


The thread and the needle

 It sounds very simple, but sewing is a skill that can help us long into our lives. Teaching children how to sew can be fun, because you can make lots of different things with them. You can make sock puppets, different outfits, costumes and toys. You should start off slow by showing them how to repair tears in their own clothes. Children are likely to play rough and make small rips here and there on their everyday clothes so you can use them as examples. Show them the basic tightening patterns and techniques after the basic thread and needle coupling. Eventually as they get older they will be able to repair their own socks, gloves, jackets, pockets, jeans and more. This will allow them to save money and not have to buy brand new clothes every time they have a small tear that eventually gets worse.


 Specialized hand communication

 One day your children will need to send a card to somebody for some reason or other. They should have the skills of making it memorable as you never know they might be sending it to their boss, a best friend who is getting married or to their fiance. Using an embossing heat tool they can make their own patterns, shapes, writings and even images fixed onto a card in a 3D manner. It will definitely stand out from your normal basic card shop style but will also carry with it a personal touch that the recipient will appreciate. This is great fun for small children as they get to see some of their characters, likes and hobbies come to life and look like they have been professionally made.

 Weaving a personal touch

 A simple woven bracelet is a great way to make something personal but which can be used in many different ways. A totally handmade bracelet can be used as a book marker, an item on a key chain or just worn normally. This is something personal and allows them to be creative and show their personality in the way they dress as well.

Teaching children how they can be self-sufficient is something they will appreciate long into old age. It begins something that they can improve on to help make their own life better.



Family adventure: Getting away with your little ones

Family adventure: Getting away with your little ones

Travel and new experiences are an important part of everyone’s development and education. And, many people’s first encounter within a fresh environment, is on their family vacations as children. Young minds are like sponges, and seeing new sights, doing things differently, and trying various things, will allow them to grow into well-rounded adults, not to mention, making happy, lifelong memories with those they love the most. It’s also crucial for the adults in a family to get away from the daily routine of hectic family life and experience something enjoyable outside of their usual household setting.

Therefore, it’s always a great time to plan an escape together and make sure that family adventure is a regular part of family life. They don’t have to be over-expensive, long trips overseas (although, these can be great too); you can make the most of your weekends and free time together, and save the chores for another day. The following are some ideas and inspiration for families who need a change of scene and are ready for their next adventure.


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Last-Minute Road Trips

Sometimes, there’s nothing more exciting than packing-up a car with all the essentials (car snacks, obviously), and picking a destination to go and spend a little time, or one or two nights. Therefore, it’s worth looking into places that are easily accessed by road and will accommodate you and your family. Perhaps you’ll need to book a cabin or ensure you have a spot to pitch your tent, but the rest of the planning can be done en route. Good food, great music, and plenty of enthusiasm are all you need for the journey ahead. If it’s nearing the end of the month and pre-payday; it might be worth checking out sites like so that you have access to exactly what you need for your adventure, and can pay it off when the family finances are topped-up. Right, navigation and maps at the ready!

Activity Weekends

A great way to escape the daily grind, and really blow away those cobwebs, is to ensure that you have an activity-filled time when you get away. Therefore, it’s worth considering an organized activity weekend, or longer, so you an all learn something new or do something you really enjoy together. Doing activities require your attention; this means that you can all re-focus, and make memories in the meantime. Often, they’re also an excellent way to wear the kids out before bed so that you can get a little peace during the evenings; a win-win!

Somewhere Sentimental

If there’s somewhere that you, or your partner, used to go as a kid, and loved; why not take your little ones to experience the same? You’ll benefit from your knowledge of the place, and will be able to make new traditions, and perhaps, enjoy some of the old ones too. It’ll be a lovely way to build and strengthen the bonds with those you love the most, which can sometimes be a challenge when you’re living your busy family lives at home.

What can you do to influence success in your child early?

What can you do to influence success in your child early?

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When it comes to raising a family, it can be hard for you to be intentional about things. Most of the time, you’re in survival mode. When you first have a baby or when you’re trying to keep family life running smoothly, you’ll often find that you’re focusing on the here and now. However, when you really want to make sure that you’re being the best possible parent (and person, for that matter), that you can be, it’s so important for you to be as intentional as possible. When you’re intentional, you’re more present and your actions are directed at an intended outcome. Rather than just going with the flow. In parenting, this approach can help you harness your child’s success for the future. Or, at least influence it. Let’s take a look at how.

1. Stay Calm

To start with, you need to make sure that you’re in the best possible place to do this. It means you need to be positive and be able to stay calm. If you’re acting on emotion or getting stressed out, this may be difficult for you to execute. So try to think about managing your mindset, in order to get the best results for your children.

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2. Nurture Their Minds

Then, when you’re ready to tackle this, you’re going to want to focus on nurturing their minds. To do this, think about growth, intelligence, skills – whatever they might need. From reading and encouraging them to ask questions, visiting different museums and watching videos, there’s a lot you can to do nurture their inquisitive little minds.

3. Nurture Their Creativity

From here, you should also find that it’s incredibly helpful for you to try to bring out as much creativity in them as possible. Even if they do not go on to have creative futures, this skill can benefit them immensely. So whether you look into Montessori Schools, different creative classes or you look to be creative with them at home, make time for this. From writing and drawing to imagining and crafting or building, there’s so much you can do with them here.

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4. Focus On Their Interests

Over time, it should become quite clear what they’re interested in. So here, you can then start to tailor your activities towards what they love to do or what they’re good at. For this, you need to be observant and make sure that you’re helping them t grow in these key areas with classes or tutors to if need be.

5. Be Attentive

Now, we all know that being an overbearing or a pushy parent isn’t always for the best. Not for the child, at least. So you have to be mindful for this. But, at the same time, you definitely don’t want to be too distant. You need to ensure that you’re attentive to their needs and what kind of support they may need. Yes, independence is important and they need to be able to stand on their own two feet, but you should also guide them and encourage them, by being as attentive as you need to.

What should you look for in a forever home?

What should you look for in a forever home?

What is a “forever” home? The easiest way possible to describe a forever home is the property that you plan on making your last purchase. You might have a family that is growing up, you might have saved up all your life to finally retire or live in a home that you have dreamed about, or maybe you just want to plant your flag and choose to settle down to build a new family. Regardless of the reason, the final home is all about making it the big splash. It’s going to be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your life and thus, it should be considered thoroughly. It’s important to note that just because it may not be your dream home, doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future. The key here is, buying a home that ticks all the boxes or very nearly does. From this platform and foundation you can then dedicate time and money to it which can create your true favorite home. But what should you look for in a final home to begin with?

Quality of the land

The land is probably the first thing you should inspect for it’s quality. Bear in mind that many of these large grandiose properties you will be viewing will be in the rural parts of the country. This means that the land might have previously been farmland, it could have been used to grow crops or feed cows and sheep. It might also have problems with animals that tear up the terrain such as moles or varmints. Some landscape just isn’t fertile and it could end up looking like a brown field rather than a healthy green. So go through the history of the land itself with the real estate agent.

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Travel distance

A final home doesn’t mean it’s your retirement home just yet. Your life will continue once you move in which means you need to see how you will get to and from work. A professional international realtor in this market such as Sotheby’s Realty will always make sure they know what the commuting options are for the property. They will check the availability of the trains, what kinds of back roads in the countryside can you use and or what kind of freeways are close by. However, these commuter-friendly homes might also mean that you will be living close by to a major city. If it’s seclusion you want then you should be prepared to make regular long journeys to and from your place of work.

Buy safely

Since it is the final home you’ll be buying and living in, you should make sure that the home comes with insurance. Since these homes can be worth millions they should usually come with a home insurance plan already attached or at least, able to be extended after the holder is changed.

The final home you ever purchase should be that which you can always build upon. So checking the quality of the land is the first thing you should do. Buy safely with an insurnace plan so your biggest purchase is not at giant risk.

5 things to expect post-birth

5 things to expect post-birth

There are so many baby books that will tell you how to prepare for a new baby, how to get your baby into a routine and what you need to buy in advance during pregnancy. One thing that the books breeze over is what you should expect after you’ve given birth – and not many of those books are entirely correct about the experience.

The true post-baby experience isn’t all sunshine and roses and it’s so important to know this as early as possible. You are going to be hit with an overwhelming experience of meeting your new baby, so before you experience most of the things that you can read about below, your first big hit will be meeting the person you grew from scratch. Let’s look at the five things to expect when your baby is born.


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You May Not Get The Rush. It’s something that shocks some women: they all expect the rush of love when they meet their new baby. The thing is, not every woman feels that right away. Sometimes, it’s delayed by medications in the system, sheer shock that a baby has just exited their body and the general ‘it has to sink in’ feeling! Do not worry if you don’t get that rush of unconditional love right away – it will come.

You May…Leak. Childbirth places a lot of pressure on the bladder and muscles that support the urethral tract. Leaking urine is not uncommon, it’s just not particularly pleasant! Seasoned mothers often find investing in a pack of adult diapers for the initial six weeks post labor an investment that’s worth its weight in gold. Expect to leak more than usual while your body puts itself back together, and be kind to yourself about it.

You Need More Pillows. If you’ve been through a c-section, you need more pillows. There is a chance you need to sleep propped up for a while, and you also need to press a pillow against your scar when your sneeze or cough so that you don’t feel like your insides are going to fall out! Pillows equal comfort; buy a lot of them.

You May Need Feeding Support. Speaking to lactation consultants while you’re still pregnant is a good way to get acquainted with those who know the ins and outs of breastfeeding. If you’ve chosen not to breastfeed, you still have research to do on the formula and sterilization methods of making up a bottle.

You May Feel Broken. Physically, childbirth is a slog. Your vagina is going to take time to heal and not feel so tender, so using warm water baths when you pee for the first few weeks can help. Your belly takes time to shrink down to normal, but it still may feel jelly-like for a while so supportive underwear is a must. Your boobs are in production, so they’ll hurt. Supportive nursing bras are a must.

Your whole body has gone through an ordeal – a natural one, but an ordeal nonetheless. Be kind to yourself with it and enjoy the rollercoaster ahead!


Choose the right car for your family

Choose the right car for your family


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Buying a car is bound to be a long and complex process. After all, this is likely to be the second most expensive purchase you make in your entire life besides the house that we actually live in. There are so many different factors to incorporate into your decision making process. You are likely to be concerned about aesthetics – how a car looks can greatly determine whether you want to be seen driving it or not and whether you want it parked in front of your home or not. You are also going to want to ensure that the vehicle is functional. But when you have a family, the number of factors that affect your decision making dramatically increase. But not to worry. Here’s everything that you need to consider in order to eventually purchase the perfect car for yourself and your family!

Why Have a Car?

Now, many people will wonder why they should invest in a car anyway. If you live in a city, there are generally highly efficient public transport options on offer. They can get you from one place to another at a relatively low cost. However, this is easier said than done with little ones around. Anyone who has had to deal with a toddler having a temper tantrum on a busy train amid the angry stares of commuters will be able to vouch for this. Even if your little ones are perfectly behaved from one stop to the next, chances are that you’ll have to walk a fair distance between your stop and your intended destination, and this can be relatively stressful if you have numerous little ones to move from a busy platform through a busy train station and to mind near roads en route. While public transport is cheap for one, prices get a little less affordable when you’re forking out for multiple people. If you have prams, it can be difficult to board and alight public transport. It’s also pretty difficult to hold all of your own and your children’s belongings without anything being left behind before you take any shopping bags into account by the time you’re returning. Put simply, public transport is just a little difficult with kids. When you have your own car, everyone can be seated and fixed in their seats securely. You have plenty of space for everyone’s belongings and anything you purchase. You can also head from just outside your own front door directly to your destination without having to walk long distances between different stop off points.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

So, if you feel like it’s time to choose a vehicle of your own, you’re going to have to go through a relatively rigorous selection process in order to find the right vehicle for your family’s needs. This will help to ensure that you choose the best car for your needs and preferences first time round, preventing chances of you having to trade your model in anytime soon. Here are some areas to focus on to help you to bag the best vehicle possible!


Price will have a huge determining factor on the vehicle that you end up with. If you are paying for a car outright, take a look at how much your savings amount to. If you’re taking on a finance plan, make sure to come up with a budget that will cover the monthly finance payment (remember to include interest in this). You could save money by choosing a second-hand car over a brand new car. But you need to make sure that any second-hand car you consider is in good condition. You don’t want to purchase a vehicle only to find that it breaks down and needs expensive work carried out on it or costly replacement parts a few weeks or months later. Also, remember that the initial outlay of purchasing a vehicle isn’t the end of costs associated with having your own set of wheels. When you have a car, you also have to legally fork out for tax, MOTs, and auto insurance. The price for these services and policies will differ depending on the car that you have. So, once you’ve settled on a model, make sure to research the costs of these things for that exact vehicle and ensure that you can definitely afford them on a monthly basis or on an annual basis

Size is important when it comes to family vehicles. You need to ensure that there are sufficient seats for everyone to sit in if you head on a trip where everyone is coming along. You also need to ensure that there is enough room for baby seats and booster seats if you’re going to have them in your car. Another thing to consider is storage space. This generally comes in the form of trunk space – five door cars are relatively essential for convenient family use. Cars such a station wagons tend to have the most space in this regard and are definitely worth checking out!


While all new cars that are sold will meet safety standards, some cars are safer than others. You’re going to want the safest car possible in order to protect your little ones whenever you take to the roads. So, make sure to check safety ratings on different vehicles before you add them to your list of potential options. You can see the different safety checks that different makes and models of vehicles have gone through and check out their scores. Use this information to scale different sets of wheels up against each other.

Having a family vehicle really can make life a lot easier for you and your little ones. It offers convenience and it can save time on journeys. So, it’s definitely something worth considering. If you decide that investing in a car is something you’re interested in doing, the above information should, hopefully, help you to make the best decision possible!


3 major concerns when splitting up

3 major concerns when splitting up

Although it’s not the kind of thing you really want to think about very often, the truth is that many relationships do end prematurely, with around fifty percent of marriages ending in divorce, and it is something that is worth thinking about to some extent at least in order to understand it as well as possible. You should make sure that you are at least prepared for some of the bigger concerns, and that you know what they are and how you are likely to try and deal with them. If nothing else, this will mean that you are much more likely to know how to manage them, and that is something that you can certainly be pleased about. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the major concerns you might have when splitting up with your partner, which you might want to think about.


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The Children

If you have children, then they will likely be the number one thing you are going to be worrying about. You don’t’ want them to be too affected, but once you realize that the relationship is working out, you don’t want them to be teased about anything either. It can be a heartbreaking situation when it comes to the kids, and you will find that it is a worrying thing to try and control and make right. One of the bigger worries here will be the question of custody, which is rarely cut and dry, and usually requires the involvement of a child custody lawyer or some other kind of legal professional. Make sure you are doing what is right by the children as much as possible, and that you are seeking to make things as easy for them as you can, while still respecting your own desires too.


As is often the case in life, the kind of momes when money becomes most prevalent is when you don’t really want to be thinking about something so trivial. But if you fail to take control of your money at this point, you could find that you are much worse off for it in the long run, so that is something to bear in mind as best as you can. Make sure you are doing whatever you can to make it fair for everyone involved, and where that is not possible don’t be afraid to get the law involved. Sometimes the law is actually exactly what you need to resolve a difficult situation, and when it comes to money that can certainly be the case, so remember that as best as you can.


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Living Situation

Finally, you will of course also need to think about the likely living situation for all of you, children included, and that is something that can be very hard to resolve. A lot of people struggle to afford living alone these days, and it might not be practical for you to move out of one another’s home for quite a while. You will therefore need to try and remain civil with one another while you get that sorted – which is in itself a very difficult thing to do.


Are you worried about these things when it comes to your teen?

Are you worried about these things when it comes to your teen?

As a parent, the worrying is never going to stop. It’d an start from the moment you get a positive pregnancy test. You worry about your pregnancy, what you eat and the actions that you take. The baby is born, and you worry about every cough, every temperature rise, and their breathing. You worry about first days of school, friendships, their eating habits, and as they get older, it only becomes worse as you begin to realize that you can’t always protect them from everything. There are common things to worry about when you have teenagers, here are some examples and how some of them may help them learn and grow as individuals.


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Social media access

One of the things that you can’t avoid as they get older, is there need and want to access to social media. They may have their friends going online, or they simply want to fit in. Some parents can worry about social media, as there has been a lot of negative press surrounding it, but actually, there can be a positive impact of social media as well. There is so much inspiration on there, knowledge and creativity, that teenagers can really find out quite a lot just through the power of people sharing. It is definitely something to think about.

The stress of exams

Exam stress can be a tough one, and one that you should definitely take seriously. There is much pressure put on young adults these days to gain qualifications and a certain level of results that the sheer thought of it can put your child under immense strain. Exams are something that you can’t avoid, and so finding great ways to handle the stress would be the best cause of action. It would be advisable to look for alternative ways to help them revise. Look at things that you can do as a parent to help. Encourage them to take regular breaks and time for themselves and assure them that they can only do their best. It is normal to worry about these things with your children, but if they feel like you are on their side, then they may be able to feel better about it.  

Too much screen time or gaming

Any parent who has a teenager will know that these days they can spend more and more of their time on games. This could be engrossed in games consoles, their phones or watching endless YouTube videos of other people playing games. The amount of screen time these days has grown, and while it can be a worry, there is also a lot of good to it. You are totally normal to worry about these things, and as long as you know that the screen time is limited and mixed with other activities like reading or spending time as a family then there is nothing to worry about.

The peer pressure they could face

Finally, a child can face peer pressure at any age, and it can also be quite worrying that you think they will feel pressured to do things they don’t want to do. Education and communication are key here. Of they feel they can confide in, you then you can help to steer them in the right direction.

Sometimes sharing your worries can help you to feel more at ease with them.


How to stop worrying about your family finances

How to stop worrying about your family finances

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When you have a family, it’s safe to say that you’re always going to worry. But isn’t it nice to be able to worry about some things and not others? It’s definitely better to be worrying about where homework books have been left or what kind of outfit your child should wear for picture day, than how you’re going to pay your bills next month. But that’s the thing with family finances, they can be really easy to worry about. When you’re not sure that you can make ends meet, or you feel as if you just aren’t managing what you have well enough, it can stay on your mind. It’s something that can keep you up at night. So maybe it’s time to actually work on managing your finances so that you no longer have to worry.

Track Everything

To start with, you are going to want to start tracking everything that you spend. If you are worried about your finances, then you need to know where everything is going. Don’t worry so much while you do this, just keep your receipts and then look to check it all at the end of the first month.

Create A Better Budget

As you’re tracking everything, you might find that you need to be a lot more strict when it comes to what you’re spending. And this is why you need to put a family budget in place. Really start to allocate limits to each area of your financial life, so that you can keep a closer eye on where your money is going.

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Cut Out Anything Unnecessary

Now, you can start to cut things out. If you know that you’re spending too much in a set area, then it’s time to cut out unnecessary purchases. You might be able to bring your bills down and even cut out things that you don’t need altogether to make your finances more manageable.

Boost Your Income

The next move from here is to think about how you’re going to be able to make some more money to be able to help your situation. Because it’s not always easy to earn more money in your current job. Or if you’re a stay at home mother, you might like to work out how to boost your income from home. And you may be wondering how to make easy money online to get started. But there is a range of ways, from blogging to surveys, that can help you to boost your income.

Plan Ahead

But then also, you might not want to stop there. Because this might not be enough for you to feel as everything is on top of. You might want to start planning ahead too. If you have money behind you, you may then start to feel covered should anything go wrong. And you’ll have peace of mind that you shouldn’t find yourself in a bad situation again. So see if you can work in some savings to your budget so that you have a bit of a financial safety net behind you.

Declutter your home in time for Christmas!

Declutter your home in time for Christmas!

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Christmas is on the way! Woohoo! But is your home ready for the festive season? Considering the extra toys and games your children will be receiving from Santa, and thinking about the visitors you may have stepping over your doorstep; you really do need to think about having a decluttering session now to get your home ready. You will have greater peace of mind (and more space) if you do!

So, where do you start?

Create a sorting system

For your smaller items, use a three-box system, labeling each with ‘keep,’ ‘sell,’ or ‘recycle.’ This is a helpful way to guide your thinking. When thinking about what to keep, ask yourself these questions.

When did I last use it? (If you have rarely used it, it may not be worth keeping).

Does it hold sentimental value? (You might want to keep nostalgic items).

Do I have a duplicate? (If so, you probably don’t need a copy).

Do I need it in my life? (If it holds no benefit at all, then you probably don’t need it).

After asking yourself those four questions, you should be able to sift through what you own. Should you sell anything, do a price check online to make sure you get the best possible price for your unwanted goods. And remember, you may have something collectable, so it’s always worth finding out before you sell something too cheaply.

Think about your larger items

From surplus coffee tables to pieces of equipment that are no longer functional, consider what you might do with them. You could sell your furniture online, using such online marketplaces as – check here to learn more – or by donating any pieces to local charities who will sell the furniture on at discount prices. And for any equipment that is no longer functional, recycle them at a plant near you or sell them on the classifieds to anybody looking for scrap parts. By getting rid of any of these items, you will instantly create more space in your home for the festive period.

Speak to the kids

You don’t want to upset your children by getting rid of their precious possessions, so have a word with them first. Implement the sorting system we described earlier, and remind them (should they kick up a fuss), that they do need to make room for the new toys and games that Santa will be leaving under the Christmas tree in the coming weeks.

Invest in more storage

To keep a tidy house over Christmas (and beyond), invest in more storage to both manage anything you intend to keep and to store any new items coming into the house. New toy boxes for the children will come in handy, as will new clothes and shoe racks to manage the fashion you may have put on your Christmas list. And if you are struggling with a lack of space, use these storage hacks to help you manage both your old and new belongings.


A clutter-free home is a stress-free home; just the thing you need this Christmas season. We hope you found our ideas useful, but let us know what you think, and gift us with your decluttering tips if you have any. Thanks for reading, and oh yeah… happy Christmas!