Making your yard a safe place for the whole family

Making your yard a safe place for the whole family

Creating a safe backyard environment is important for your family. Your yard should be somewhere where your kids can play without you being worried about their safety and an easy way for you all to get some fresh air and exercise. It’s easy to neglect your backyard, especially during the winter period but there are some simple things you can do that will make it a safe space for leisure and play at any time of year. Read these great tips on how to make your backyard safe for the whole family.


                    Photo: Pexels

Conduct a safety survey

If your backyard only tends to get used during the summer months, it can be difficult to remember what’s out there that could pose a hazard. You might find that some things have ended up in the yard that you didn’t know about, or you’ve got things that need fixing. Conduct a thorough inspection of your yard and make a note of anything that needs repairing or replacing and give it a good clean to make sure you get rid of all the hazards. Installing a shed is a great idea to put away any equipment or chemicals that could be dangerous in the wrong hands, and should be secured with a padlock at all times.

Install stable, effective fencing

Fencing is important for creating a safe backyard. Fencing stops unwanted guests from getting in, but more importantly – stops things from getting out. If you have young children who love to run around or an adventurous pet, the right fence will keep them safe and ease your concerns about them playing outside. Inspect your fence regularly for damage, particularly after bad weather to ensure your backyard stays secure.

Consider alternative surfaces

Most yards are built with grass, which is ideal for most activities but can be difficult to maintain. There are some great solutions available today that can preserve the look of your garden while reducing its maintenance. Using poured rubber flooring options can help you to create safe swing set or swimming pool areas that will make your yard safer, while artificial grass is an effective but hassle-free substitute for the real thing. If you’re serious about making your yard safe, you should make sure you start with the surface.

Introduce safety rules

Despite your efforts to be hip and laid-back parents, you’re going to need to introduce backyard safety rules to help the whole family stay safe while using the backyard. Rules can help prevent accidents around the pool, the grill and any play equipment that you have in your yard – and it’s important that the adults in the house follow the same rules. Remember to communicate them regularly – especially to new visitors, and you should have a happy and safe backyard environment.

Once you’ve transformed your yard into a safer space, you can work on making the most of it. Your backyard is a great place to get fit as a family as well as a space for entertaining and spending time together. Get your yard in order and put safety first to make some great memories in your outdoor space together.



Planning for your family’s future, without compromising the present

Planning for your family’s future, without compromising the present

Life is, hopefully, all good and well. Everyone will be happy and healthy; you’ll be doing plenty of fun things now, and have a good few months to look forward to. While this is, of course, excellent – indeed, what life is for – it’s important to keep more than one eye on the future. If you’re not thinking about the next ten years or beyond, then you might one day find that it’s too late: instead of only enjoying the present, you should have been making plans. Below, we take a look at how you can plan for your family’s future without compromising your current happiness levels.

family-pier-man-woman-39691 (2)


Have a Dream

One of the best ways you can plan for your family’s future is simply by thinking about. Have a dream, something you want to work towards over the next ten years. It might be to move into a bigger home, send your kids to college, or buy them a car when they’re old enough to drive. What it is isn’t too important, and can indeed even change; but in the meantime, it’ll work as an anchor that’ll allow you focus your attention on tomorrow.

Get The Finances Under Control

Though it can be frustrating, there’s no denying that our family’s fortunes are heavily related to our finances. As such, it’s important that we have a look at the state of our financial health, and make adjustments if things aren’t looking quite as rosy as you’d like. Take a look at all your incomings and outgoings, and make sure it’s sustainable. You should also check your credit score, as it’ll have a significant impact on your ability to get loans, mortgages, and other financial matters. If it’s not a good score, use a company like to find a company that’ll be able to help improve it. Knowing your current financial position will enable you to plan for the bigger things in life, as well as understand when you’ll be able to make them a reality.   

Budget for the Good Times

Of course, it’s all good and well creating a savings pot for the big things, like a house, college, and the like, but you should also be putting some money aside for the fun aspects of life. There are few things more enjoyable than taking a family trip to a destination that you’ve always wanted to visit. Creating a separate pot of cash that’s reserved only for fun activities will mean you can always have fun summers and extravagant Christmases. These might seem like small things, but they’re the things your children will remember when they’re older.

Worst Case Scenario

Nothing bad is going to happen, but it’s good to know that your family would be taken care of if you fell ill and were unable to work. If you have insurance and all your financial documents in order, then you know there’ll be safe and provided for even if something happened to you.

With a bit of thought and planning, you can make sure your family has as good a future as it does a present.


Getting fit together as a family!

Getting fit together as a family!

Looking to shed some of that baby weight? Is the man of the house desperate to rid himself of the cursed ‘Dad bod’? Are the kids spending a little more time on the sofa than you’d like? The truth is that whatever your lifestyle and fitness level and whatever age your kids, there are always some fun ways in which you can get in shape together as a family. The endorphin hit of exercise combined with spending quality time together as a family can lead families to come closer together as they help each other towards their fitness goals. Plus, anything that keeps kids active and entertained without breaking the bank can only ever be a plus!

Stuttgart family fitness

                    Image by Flickr

If you’re looking for a free alternative to an expensive gym membership or just want to do more together as a family, there are a huge range of activities from free swimming pool games for kids to mother and baby exercises that are fun and accessible for the whole family while not costing a penny. Let us take you on a guided tour…


For new parents, using your baby as a weight to improve strength and muscle tone might seem weird but there is a range of exercises that can not only provide good resistance training for both Mums and Dads but provide baby-friendly movements that will have them cooing with delight. Favourites include:

  •  Baby curls- A variation on the classic crunch. Lying face up, bring your knees up and gently place baby on your shins. Curl by contracting your abs to raise your head and shoulders bringing you nose to nose with baby. Feel free to combine with a little kiss. Try this for 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  • Baby shoulder press- Sit cross-legged on the floor holding your baby in front of your head. Lift baby up over your head and enjoy their delighted giggles while you feel the burn. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.
  •  Baby bench press- Lie on your back with knees bent and bring baby up to your face. Extend your arms before bringing baby slowly back to the start position. Again aim for 3 sets of 10.

Hot couch potato

There’s nothing wrong with settling down together to watch some TV but who says it has to be at the expense of the family’s fitness? Turn ad breaks into muscle-toning breaks by playing this game for 2-3 minutes. Stand with feet a shoulder width apart and squat down so that your collective butts hover about an inch above the couch. Hold this position for as long as you can, imagining that the sofa has become white hot. If your kids like playing ‘the floor is lava’ they’ll love this!

Homework hijack

Kids can always use a break from homework. It allows their brains a chance to reboot and aids their productivity. Why not use those breaks to boost your cardiovascular fitness as a family? Take 3-5 minutes to race each other up and down stairs or running laps of the block together. They’ll return to their homework with their fitness boosted and concentration levels improved.

By taking a few minutes out of every day to exercise together (even if it’s just a brisk walk) you’ll get fitter while bonding together.



What will your children inherit?

What will your children inherit?

No parent wants to think the worst, but each of us should consider our children’s lives after we’re gone. Our legacy to them is important, especially if something happens to us while they are still young. No matter where you are in your life right now, having children does make you think of the future. Do you ever consider what your children might inherit from you?

Your genetic makeup is just one thing that your children will inherit from you that might be evident from the moment they are born. This is one of the fun things about parenting – seeing a little of yourself and your partner in your kids. Of course, they might inherit any genetic problems too. You can help prepare and even protect your kids if you inform yourself about your conditions now. Read up, ask questions, and find out all you can so your children can use that information to make important lifestyle changes.

pasted image 0 (5)

                    Picture credit

Your children might also inherit some of your views and your outlook on life. If you are an active and engaged person, then there is every chance your children will adopt that approach to life too. They say you should lead by example, and perhaps that is more important than we think. Your kids will look up to you, and they will learn from you. They’ll adopt your faith, and they’ll move in your social circles. Can you give them any more than that?

pasted image 0 (6)

                    Picture credit

When we think of inheritance, we think of money, assets, and property. If you have children, it’s important you make a Will that clearly defines how you wish your assets to be divided. Your next of kin might also inherit your debts. This is why life insurance is so important. It is designed primarily to clear your mortgage. If you read the blog posts at you’ll see you can also ensure your kids pick up a cash sum to cover other costs like the funeral and outstanding bills. Perhaps you want to leave a lump sum for their future?

pasted image 0 (7)

                    Picture credit

Do you have any passions or talents in life? Whether your kids share them or not, they will remember you for your love of them. It might be nice to leave a memento or something tangible that represents that passion. If your relationship with their other parent broke down, then you need to consider any items that might be precious to them too. Of course, it is also important to declare your intentions for those items you held so dear. Your Will isn’t just about who gets what. You can also determine what is to be done with those items. It will help avoid any guilt should your kids choose to sell the things you leave them.

What will happen to the home where you raised your children? If you have more than one child, then chances are the property will need to be sold so the assets can be divided fairly. There will be dozens of wonderful memories they can take with them, of course. You might also have collections of photos or other mementos you kept from when they were young. What would you like to leave for your family?

Great gifts he’s certain to want

Great gifts he’s certain to want

Buying gifts for the men in your life can be exceptionally tough. They’ve got everything they need and buy themselves what they want. Without resorting to the good old-fashioned aftershave set, what does that leave? Many men are left opening gifts they don’t really want or have no use for at Christmas and birthdays. Many of which stay in the box until getting thrown away or re-gifted. So, instead, why not try one of these gifts he’ll actually want.

An Experience Day


             Image Credit: Pixabay

Experience days come in a huge range of different types. If he likes things fast, why not buy him a driving day and let him have a go in a fast car around a faster track? If he’s into food and drink, you could get him cooking lessons or a tasting experience. Does he like extreme sports? There are plenty out there he could have a go at. Or, does he enjoy the quieter life? In which case a couple’s spa day or some art lessons could be a great option. Think about what he enjoys doing or things he’s said he’d love to try in the past. Then have a look to see what’s available.

If a structured day doesn’t appeal, why not plan your own. Look at ways to keep the kids occupied and try to fit something around this. It could be something as simple as a picnic together on the beach.



             Image Credit: Pixabay

Many men rarely buy themselves clothes. They buy things for work or an outfit for a particular event. But never just day to day clothes. If you’re not sure what he likes, take him shopping or look online together and offer to buy him something. If you are really stuck, it’s probably safe to assume he needs new pants, socks or shoes.


More men are wearing jewelry than ever before. But, many are reluctant to buy it for themselves. Think about his style and tastes. Would he prefer beachy beads, or classic silver or gold? Can you see him in a bracelet? Or would he prefer a necklace? Not all men are into jewelry, but if he is, this is a thoughtful gift.

A Watch


             Image Credit: Pixabay

In the days of smartphones it’s perhaps surprising how many people still like to wear a watch. This is a classic gift he’s sure to appreciate.

A Subscription Box

Nowadays subscription boxes are available for everything, including food, clothes, and memorabilia. In many ways, they are the gift that keeps on giving as he’ll get a treat every month. Read some subscription box reviews and think about what kind of things he likes to get some ideas. Some great options include food hampers, whiskey or wine tasting sets and gaming goods.

Tickets to an Event

Tickets to an event is a great gift. This could be a sporting event, show or music concert. You are buying the chance to spend the day or night doing something they love. Just make sure he’s free for whatever you book and that you arrange childcare or time off work if it’s needed, so he doesn’t have to stress out making arrangements and can just enjoy himself.

Buying gifts for men doesn’t have to be tough. Just spend some time thinking about his hobbies and interests, then try and find something that’s relevant to these. You can always keep the receipts. Just in case.

What’s on your husband’s wish list this year?


Inexpensive entertainment: Keeping kids occupied on a budget!

Inexpensive entertainment: Keeping kids occupied on a budget!

Keeping kids entertained is huge deal when it comes to parenting. Kids don’t keep their attention on one thing for long and can get easily bored- and aren’t afraid to let you know about it either! As parents, we have to find the balance between letting kids get on with their own activities such as playing on the computer or watching tv so we can get things done around the house, and ensure that they’re spending enough time being active and learning. On top of this, getting out and about can often be quite expensive, so if you’re not working with a huge budget, it can leave you a little stuck for ideas. But no need to fret, here are some ideas you can do with little ones when you don’t have a lot to spend.

pasted image 0 (2)

                                 Photo sourced from this site

Go on Hikes and Bike Rides

Family hikes and bike rides are a great way to get some family bonding time in. You get to do some light exercise and you teach kids to appreciate the outdoors. Do you live near countryside, woods, meadows or a river? Take a stroll together or pull your bikes out of the shed. Enjoy the last of the mild weather before fall brings rain and chilly air. You could look online for different nature trails and follow one, you could even take a picnic and sit and enjoy an alfresco meal together. Make daisy chains, roll down hills and just generally enjoy each other’s company. It’s these simple, silly little moments that make it all worth it. What you will all look back on in years to come with fond memories.

Walk Around Nature Parks and Garden

Another type of place that’s fun to walk around and visit are parks and gardens. These are nicely maintained and often have things like play areas for kids, nicely landscaped flowers and foliage and plenty of space to run around with a ball or frisbee. You could go bird watching together, take some photos and feed the ducks. Usually, these kinds of places are free to enter, you might just need to pay a small fee for parking if you arrive by car.

Go to a Farm

While zoos are a lot of fun, they can be surprisingly expensive. Have a look at ticket prices for your closest zoo or safari park, and if you’ve not been for a while, you might be shocked at the price. Farms, on the other hand, are usually very cheap, sometimes even free. You, of course, won’t get the same mixture of exotic animals, but you and the kids will still get to see and interact with all kinds of critters. Some offer things like feeding and holding baby animals, bird shows, tours and more. It’s a chance to see and appreciate animals in person and makes for a fun activity to spend a morning or afternoon.

Enjoy The Beach

While the weather is still fairly warm, you could go to the beach and enjoy all it has to offer. Splash in the sea, go swimming or snorkeling. If this is a hobby the kids like to do every year, you could look into gifts for snorkeling for their next birthday or Christmas and kit them out. A mask and a wetsuit would both be needed to enjoy the hobby. Even once the weather has cooled down a bit you could still walk on the beach, maybe bring your dog along too. Play beach volleyball, frisbee and collect seashells together. If we get another sunny weekend before the fall weather kicks in, bring along a disposable barbeque. They’re only cheap, a few inexpensive staples like sausages and burgers and you have a fun meal to enjoy outdoors.

pasted image 0 (3)

                Photo sourced from this site

Visit a Museum or Gallery

Museums and art galleries are interesting and give kids an appreciation of history and culture. It’s another way to learn that isn’t based in the classroom and can really help them to develop an interest in this area. In many museums there are exhibits just for children, offering fun interactive areas which will grab and keep their interest. Best of all, museums and galleries are completely free to enter- and they’re indoors too. So perfect for an inexpensive rainy day activity, all you’d need is petrol to get there or bus fare if it’s not walking distance. There are museums about history, space, dinosaurs, animals and so much more- they’re always a fascinating experience.

Rent a Bouncy Castle

This is another good one for making the most of the last bit of good weather in the year. One weekend, why not hire a bouncy castle for your back garden? It’s great exercise and will tire kids out and be a whole lot of fun, an easy way to get them out of your hair leaving you to get on with whatever you need to do about the house. It doesn’t have to be a birthday or special occasion, kids bouncy castles are usually fairly cheap. If you have siblings or friends with kids around the same age, you could all even chip in and pay a small amount each. They will have a fantastic time, and it’s far cheaper than other activities that won’t keep them half as interested.

Go Camping

Going on family vacations are what memories are made of, however, they don’t come cheap. Whether you want an extra getaway in the year or this will be your main family holiday, camping is the ideal choice. You could rent a caravan or RV or take it back to basics and take a tent. You get to teach kids about the great outdoors- collecting firewood and building a fire, foraging for berries, setting up a tent and so much more. You could enjoy a tasty barbeque dinner each night, roast marshmallows and sing songs around the campfire. Sleeping out under the stars and having these kinds of outdoor experiences are great for kids, keeps them entertained, active and don’t cost much.

pasted image 0 (4)

                Photo sourced from this site

Do Some Baking

A fun indoor activity that most kids love is baking. These are tonnes of simple recipes online for cakes or cookies you could follow, or you could even buy a box mix and mainly focus on the decorating side of things. Chances are you already have the staples you need in your kitchen, but eggs, flour, butter, icing sugar and some sprinkles won’t cost much and will do you for lots of different occasions baking. Teach them how to carefully weigh out ingredients and how to mix thoroughly. How to set the temperature on the oven along with the timer. These skills are all useful and help to teach them precision. Once you’re done you can have fun with the creative side, decoration. Icing pens, sprinkles and other edible decorations all work well- and as a bonus, you get to eat what you’ve made afterward.

Discover a New Hobby

Hobbies are so useful for adults and children alike. It gives you passion and purpose, helps you to improve skills and connect with like-minded people. A hobby could be anything from collecting things (something most children love to do), gardening, writing, photography- anything to keep their mind occupied. You probably already have the things you need at home to get them started. Plus, hobbies teach the sorts of things that are not taught in the classroom. It keeps young minds curious and is a fantastic, productive way for kids to spend their time. Try and discover hobbies that you can do together, as well as things they can do independently. That way if you’re busy and have other things you need to do, they can get on with it independently.

Throw a Slumber Party

Slumber parties might be hard work, but they’re fun for kids and allow fantastic bonding time between friends. For girls, you could give them some nail polish, makeup, face masks and magazines along with plenty of movies to watch. For boys, you could set up a games console or encourage them to play some board games. You could get some inexpensive crafts from hobby stores for them to do, and cook up a big pizza for everyone to share. It costs hardly anything but fun for kids and something they will always appreciate.

Keeping kids entertained is hard work, but having a couple of ideas for budget things to do both in and out of the house is useful. That way if you start going stir crazy or the kids have been in front of their screens for too long you have a few tricks up your sleeve for keeping them entertained. You don’t have to keep hearing them wail ‘I’m bored, ’ and you get peace of mind that they’re learning, staying active or both.

What are your favorite budget activities to keep kids entertained? Is there anything that’s not on this list which you would recommend to parents looking to entertain kids without having to spend a lot of money?


Must read ways to increase your family fun money fund!

Must read ways to increase your family fun money fund!

Apart from putting food in their mouths and clothes on their back, what is truly the most important thing when you have a family? Is it having all the latest mod cons and gadgets, or is it getting to spend quality time with each other as much as possible? Most folks would say the latter, but unfortunately, a lack of funds can prevent them from doing this. If this is something that applies to you, then read on as you can see how to can increase your family’s fun money fund each month.

Consolidate debts

One reason for a lack of funds for fun with the family is that monthly outgoings use up all available cash, leaving nothing left. This can be especially problematic if you are paying off debts on things you have already purchased on credit. As it can feel like all your money is gone and you aren’t even buying anything new.

One way to deal with this is to consider consolidating your debts. Which means taking more than one debt to a company that will take on the responsibility for these, and charge you a lower monthly payment. Find out some more information about this process at so you can decide whether it is the right solution for you. As it can free up more money in the monthly budget, making it easier to pay for fun activities with the family will still keep on top of your debt.

baby-17342_1280Image source

Only buy what’s on the list

You’ve heard the phrase: “If your name’s not on the list you’re not coming in?” Right? Well, it’s time to apply that to your spending. As its spending money that isn’t accounted for, where a lot of families go wrong each month.

Of course, it’s easy to pick up a quick drink or a snack when you are out on the move, but all of those little things can add up to one big overspend. Something that can easily eat into your family fun budget and prevent you from making the memoirs with your loved one that you would like to.

That is why you should consider making a list of everything you need to buy at the beginning of the month. This works because writing it down gets you to think more about it, and helps you to evaluate whether you really need the item or not. You can also predict the things you will need such as drinks and snack for the car and buy the ingredients such as the ones listed at in bulk. Then divide them into smaller portions in zipper bags to take with you on the go.

Also, using a list method it also stops you spending money on impulse, as if the item isn’t on the list then you do get to buy it. This can be a real help because so many stores now are setup to exploit this, with tempting displays at the counter. In this way, you can keep to your set budget ensuring you have a protected amount reserved for family fun time.

What’s your family saving for?



Letting go and moving on…from neglected toys.

Letting go and moving on…from neglected toys.

Do you have a hard time getting your kids to let go of stuff? Even though they haven’t worn or played with something for ages, and have mostly even forgotten it exists, they’re resistant to get rid of it. No amount of reasoned and logical arguments will get them to let go, and it’s frustrating for both you and them. If you’re struggling to get them to give up something they no longer use, there are some things you can do about it. Here are a few methods you can try to get them to change their mindset.


pasted image 0

                Max Pixel

Do Regular Clear-outs

One of the first things you can do is regularly clear out your home. Don’t just do the kids stuff, but do your things too. You can turn it into something that’s routine, and not a huge ordeal that you have to go through once a year or so. You could even make it into a game, or make it a chore that your child gets a reward for completing. The more you do it, the more it will just be something that you sometimes do. You can let your child have some control over the process, just as long as they get rid of a couple of things each time.

Sell Stuff for Money

If you don’t mind encouraging a love for money and maybe a little bit of materialism, mentioning that you can sell things for money could be a good idea. You might already give your child an allowance, or maybe they’re saving up for something. You can encourage them to let go of things by mentioning that the profits could buy them something new. You can use websites where you can get cash for old electronics, toys, and other items. Or you could choose an old-fashioned yard sale. Your kid could learn some skills from helping with the sale of their things too.

Encourage Giving to Charity

Not all children are immediately receptive to the idea of charity. Empathy takes time to develop, so don’t be surprised if the suggestion that a toy goes to another deserving child is met with resistance. But plenty of children are open to making kind gestures for others and clearing out your home is a great time to encourage charity. It gives you an opportunity to talk about those less fortunate than you and give your child a wider perspective of the world.

pasted image 0 (1)


Discourage Materialism

If you’re unhappy with how materialistic your child seems to be, you might want to take some steps to change that. There are ways you can try to get them to look at the world differently and care less about material things. Some parents try to avoid showing adverts on TV and other places to their kids. This can help because they’re not being told about the next best thing that they need to have – at least, not by the TV. You can also try to encourage different types of play, like imaginative play outdoors, where toys aren’t necessarily needed.

There are a few different ways to approach the situation if you have a child who’s very attached to their things. Don’t let them rule the roost if you’re determined to free up some space.

How do you encourage good “toy habits” in your kids?