Your Child’s Early Years Will Fly By, Here’s How To Make Them Magical

Becoming a parent changes your entire world in an instant. When it comes to their infancy, though, it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Before you know it, your new addition will be off to school and already on the pathway to becoming an independent character. Therefore, it’s vital that all mummies and daddies grab onto those precious early moments for dear life.

Those moments are sure to be magical, but here are four top tricks to ensure you make the most of them. After all, you’ll never get them back.

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Be There

The most important thing that any parent can do, especially during those early years, is to actively be there for their kids. Modern life and responsibilities can make this a little more difficult than it arguably should be. Nonetheless, nothing is more important than spending time with the family. Do not forget it.

This can range from teaching them valuable skills to taking memorable family holidays. Meanwhile, finding a hobby that you can enjoy together can open the door to years of group activities. If it brings you closer to your partner in the process, that can only be a bonus.

Invest In Yourself

As a parent, it’s natural to focus the bulk of your attention on the needs of your child. While this is the right approach to take, it shouldn’t come as a sacrifice to your health. Ultimately, a healthy mummy and daddy are a better mummy and daddy.

Keeping fit gives you greater energy, which allows you to play a more active role. If hitting the gym isn’t an option, Women’s Health magazine has built winning home workouts for busy mums. Daddies can find similar resources in their publications too.

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Document Your Child’s Progress

Whatever you do, those first few years will fly by at a rapid speed. Ensuring that the memories last a lifetime is easy when you document their milestones and major moments. Proud Daddy moments captured on video will serve as an item to be treasured for life.

Likewise, a personal blog can be an ideal world to keep those moments stored forever. This also offers a chance to share the memories with other family members that may be dotted across the world. If nothing else, they’ll serve as keepsakes for when your son or daughter wants to look back on their life in later years.

Interact With Other Adults

First and foremost, you want to give your child the best possible start in life. The best way to do this is by actively paying attention to their progress in other settings. Whether this is interacting with nursery teachers or speaking to other parents about playdates doesn’t matter. That participation is key.

Working with others to provide the best start in life will boost your child’s happiness too. Even youngsters can pick up on atmospheres, and that positivity will not go unnoticed. From your perspective, it can make you feel like you are around even when it isn’t physically possible. What more could any parent ask for?

3 Reasons Why You Are Starting To Hate Your Home




After a while, many of us get into the position where we begin to hate the house we live in. The words ‘home sweet home’ no longer have the same impact they used to. This can be for many reasons, and we have tried to predict some of them right here. So, if your home is getting you down, and you are plain sick of the place you are living in, we have some advice you might find useful.


You are bored of your surroundings

Every so often, our homes need a makeover. Perhaps the color scheme you chose several years ago may no longer suit your tastes. The furniture is becoming shabby and is worn down with wear. You prefer to spend time at your mates house, rather than coming home to the dreariness yours has become. Rather than let this common problem get you down, get your thinking cap on and do something about it. A fresh lick of paint can brighten up a room, a few knickknacks can give the room a personal touch, and houseplants can bring life into a drab space. When it comes to furnishings, try some of the stylish decors at Vincent Design to replace your old stuff, or layer some colorful throws over your existing sofa. A few simple changes can transform your home, and make it worth living in again.

You have terrible neighbours

We can choose the home we live in, but we can’t choose our neighbours. Perhaps you have always had difficult people living next door to you, or maybe a new set have moved in recently and are literally driving you up the wall. Other than framing them for a crime they didn’t commit, you probably won’t be able to replace them with the neighbours of your dreams. However, you could make an effort and get to know them. If you can get on good speaking terms with them, you may be able to reason with your neighbours, such as asking them to turn their music down, or suggesting they keep their barking dogs inside. If that doesn’t work, there is further advice here, which includes mediation and legal action if their behavior becomes unbearable.

Your home is costing you a fortune

Unfortunately, the cost of living is high, but there are ways to reduce costs. We have already given you some advice on reducing your energy bills, and you may be able to speak to your mortgage provider if monthly payments are becoming a problem. There are other areas in your life where you can save money, such as planning your shopping list before you fall prey to temptation at the supermarket, and canceling any costly subscriptions that dent your bank balance. A few simple steps will help you save your hard-earned money, without you having to downsize to something that doesn’t cater to your family’s needs.

Finally

The above are some of the common reasons why people begin to hate the place they live in. However, there may be issues that are unique to your situation. Rather than move out and live somewhere new, consider what those issues are. Instead of complaining about them, is there anything you can do to remedy the situation? By being proactive, you may be able to fall in love with your home all over again. Thanks for reading.

Creating the Garden Of Your Dream

We spend so much time getting our homes just right. Looking at colour charts and paint samples, choosing the right accessories, carpets and tiles. Then making sure all of the furniture is in the perfect position. Yet, we ignore our gardens completely most of the time.

This is unfortunate as your garden is incredibly important. It’s your safe outdoor space where you can relax and unwind, entertain or play with the kids. Having a dream garden will encourage you to spend much more time outdoors. This is good for your physical and mental health, can be a great way to get more exercise and fresh air, helps you to connect with nature and you’ll even get more sleep if you start spending more time outside. Here are some top tips for creating the garden of your dreams.
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Budget

Before starting any home renovations or improvements, you need to set a budget. If you don’t, you’ll soon get carried away and spend much more than you can afford. Sit down and work out what you can afford and how much you want to spend. You may need to be strict with yourself, but you’ll never be able to enjoy your garden if you know that you have overspent.

Add Cover

If you want to make the most of your garden you may want to think about including a covered area. This means you can get out there whatever the weather. It’s a good idea to have your cover over a decked dining area so that you can eat outside all year around and any Lavita Furniture and equipment is protected from the weather.

Create Zones
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Creating zones is an excellent way to ensure your garden can be used in a variety of ways. You may want a kid’s zone if you’ve got them. To keep their toys and games separate. Include plenty of bright colours and some smaller seating here.

Next, a grownup and sophisticated dining area, complete with comfortable seating, light and heat sources. The perfect place to entertain guests.

If you are green fingered you may want a growing zone. Where you can produce your own vegetables. You will also want a relaxing space. Filled with gorgeous scented plants and comfortable seating. Somewhere you can sit in the sunshine or enjoy your morning coffee in peace.

Think about what you will use your garden for and create the zones you need. You could separate them with colourful flower beds or pathways, depending on your space.
Think of Maintenance

Are you someone that loves to spend time out in the garden, watering, trimming and generally looking after things? Or, do you just want it to look good all the time with minimal effort on your part? Are you someone always on the look out for hacks to make housework easier? Be honest with yourself here and make sure everything you plant reflects your decision.

Just like your home d├ęcor, you should reflect your personality in your choices. Make sure your outdoor space suits you and your needs. Remember, it’s your dream garden, no one else’s.

Home Hacks: Three Shortcuts To Cut Down on Cleaning Time

Some people find cleaning strangely therapeutic, and sometimes these is a certain satisfaction in transforming a messy and dirty space into one that looks clean and fresh. But for the most part, cleaning is a chore. Especially when you’re the one that does most of the cleaning in the house, perhaps looking after a family- it can feel never-ending. For this reason, it makes sense to make your home as easy to clean and maintain as possible, so you can get it done and spend your precious time doing other things instead. Here are a few shortcuts you could take.


Replace Carpets With Tiles or Wooden Floors
Carpets are great, soft and cozy underfoot and give a fantastic homely feel. But when you have a busy home- lots of guests, children, and pets it’s always going to be better to go with easy to clean flooring. Many homes create a no shoes in the house rule, but when you have workmen or other professionals in the house to do jobs at any point, it might be awkward or not appropriate to ask. Food and drink spills, pet accidents, bodily fluids from kids, it all happens in family life so you’re best going with a floor covering that you can easily clean and disinfect.  Hardwearing surfaces like wood, stone, tile or vinyl are much easier to clean and don’t hold onto any stains or smells. You can always put down rugs to cozy up the space, these can be washed or replaced far more easily than an entire carpet.

Do a Seasonal Clean
There are some jobs that don’t need doing every time you clean the house. But they do need doing eventually, so for this reason it’s worth having a deep clean every season. You could rent a carpet cleaner and clean your carpets and rugs. You could pull out large items of furniture and vacuum behind, or dismantle chandeliers and light fittings so you can clean them. If you hire a company like Central Home Services air duct cleaning, you keep your home feeling fresh. Those with allergies or other issues will be able to breathe much more easily without pollen and other build ups filtering through to the home.

Go Minimal
Dust is an ongoing and irritating battle at home. It doesn’t take long for it to reappear once you’ve dusted and has to be done regularly to keep it under control. So to make things easier for yourself, it’s best to keep clutter and things like knick-knacks and ornaments to a minimum. If you have lots of items on display, a display cabinet with a glass door will prevent you from having to polish lots of items every day. Keep surfaces as minimal as possible, go with a frame and a plant rather than lots of smaller things. These are easy to remove and allow you to run a duster around with much less hassle.

Do you have any shortcuts which make cleaning the home easier?

Invaluable Life Skills That Every Child Should Learn As Soon As Possible

As soon as our little ones enter our lives, their health, happiness, safety and general well being become our absolute priority. While we may be able to keep an eye on them for the most part of the time, there may come some unfortunate situations where our attention slips for a moment, or we are somehow debilitated, and these are tragically the times when most accidents or injuries can occur. But not to worry too much. There are certain life skills that we can teach our children from an early age that could prove invaluable should an emergency situation arise. Here are a few to bear in mind and instill into them as soon as possible.

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Swimming and Water Safety

Kids need constant supervision when in or around water, but if for some reason they happen to come into contact while you don’t have an eye on them, they’ll have a much greater chance of getting out of the incident unharmed if they are able to swim and have a grasp of basic water safety information. What’s more? Pools and the sea can become a fun source of exercise and other activities once they are competent and confident in the water. There are swimming lessons for both adults and kids that will endow you and your little one with the ability to carry out basic strokes, float, and have the strength and ability to get to the edge of a body of water if needs be. Whether you can already swim or just want to brush back up on your basic skills, it’s a good idea for you to join your child in their swimming lessons. First, this will make them feel more comfortable in the experience. It can also become a fun and regular bonding session that you can both look forward to while endowing yourselves with indispensable life skills.

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Emergency Protocol

You can never completely guarantee your own health or wellbeing, no matter how healthy you are. Unfortunately, occasions may arise where you become debilitated or unconscious while you are the only adult present. While this is hopefully a situation that never arises, you need to ensure that your children are prepared for it and know what to do. First, you need to teach your child how to contact the emergency services. Ensure that they know the correct dialing code and how to ask for different services. You should also make sure that they know your home address should it be requested. A second situation? Fire. You need to make sure your children know that if they discover a fire anywhere, they must again call for help; from both you and emergency services. Have an evacuation plan ready in your home, with simple routes to the nearest exits so that they know where to head in times of danger.

These life skills may seem inherent once you’re an adult, but you need to remember that you are only familiar with this kind of information because you were taught once too. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure that your children have the independence and knowledge to be able to help themselves if you are not there or are unable to help them on their behalf. Who knows, this could even save a life!

Affordable Fashion Tips For The Whole Family

Let’s get one thing straight; fashion doesn’t have to cost money to look good. There’s a misconception that people need to spend a lot of money on clothes to look good, something that simply isn’t possible when you’re raising a family. There are plenty of affordable ways to enjoy fashion as a family, so there’s no need to break the bank when shopping for clothes. Take a look at the following tips for affordable fashion for the whole family.

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Create capsule wardrobes for everyone

If you ask any fashionista for their tips on looking good on a daily basis, most will tell you to build a capsule wardrobe. Having a wardrobe of good basics you can mix and match with different trends will mean that not will you be able to enjoy the latest fashions, but you’ll always have something to wear. Building a capsule wardrobe for kids is easier than you might think, and it will make it far easier for you to shop in future if you know the types of things you should have in their wardrobes.

Become a discount hunter

The internet is a great place for shopping, and if you’re clever, you can save more money on items than you would do in a store. Make sure you subscribe to the different newsletters of your favourite shops, and you’ll be the first to know when there’s a sale or a voucher code to be used. Using websites like Finder each time you shop could save you money unexpectedly, with most stores offering a discount somewhere if you look hard enough. Put the money saved into a rainy-day fund; you’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

Shop in places you wouldn’t normally shop

If one store is selling one type of dress you’ve had your eye on, you can guarantee that others will too. Expanding the range of places where you shop can lead you to discover new favourites and save some money too. Oobi sells some cute baby girl dresses that are fashionable and affordable, while many international stores now offer free shipping to make it easier to take advantage of affordable fashion elsewhere. Become more adventurous with your shopping, and you could come across some great finds for the family.

Have regular clear outs

Not having enough space is something every fashion lover can sympathise with. However, rather than focus on getting more space - become better at clearing out. A regular sort through your family’s wardrobe can help you discover long-lost favourites, things you’ll never wear again, and items that can be sold to help you buy new items. You can be fashionable by making the most of what you have, and regular clear outs will help remind you of the stylish items you already have in your wardrobe.

If your family is on a budget, then seeking affordable fashion should be at the top of your list of spending less on essentials. Fashion doesn’t have to expensive to be enjoyed, and there are some great solutions out there that will help you be a stylish family without the cost.

Decorating Your First Home: Everything You Need To Know


When you purchase your first home with the one you love, it is the most gratifying and amazing feeling in the world. And although it can be a long, stressful road to finally moving into your humble abode, the second you walk in you feel an air of calm and contentment. There’s nothing quite like owning your home. It makes you feel completely independent and can introduce you to a whole new way of living your life.
However much you love your home when you move in, there will undoubtedly be certain things which you want to change and replace in order to truly put your own stamp onto the property. This could involve ripping down old wallpaper, replacing kitchen units or even going the whole hog a redecorating the whole house.

Before you dive right into changing everything in your home, you need to make sure that you write down EXACTLY what you want for each room. This way, you will be able to map out the space, plan for furniture and price up all the new things you want to include. This will allow you to then go away and make a budget for your improvements. If you realise that you can’t quite afford to do everything you would like, you can make the decision to change a few things for the time being or wait until you have the sufficient funds. It will at least give you a goal to work towards and the direction for the project.


When you finally decide to begin your big project, you will want to make sure you have the time and space to complete the work. You may need to book a day or two off work for the project to make sure you can complete it without hindering your lifestyle. And then to make the space you require, you may have to invest in a storage facility such as this canningvalestorageunits.com.au to keep all of your belongings and furniture safe from paint and dust.
If you are planning to fork out on all new furniture and accessories for your home, then why not utilise sites such as GumTree and eBay. You can sell off your old furniture instead of having to give it away- and you might even bag yourself a bargain on some beautiful second-hand furniture for your home. It is a great idea to save you some money while still getting a quality product.


Once you’ve painted the walls, added new wallpaper, upgraded the floors and skimmed the ceilings- you can begin to move everything back into the space. It will be helpful if you have a sketch of the room handy so that you know where everything is going to go. Once you’ve placed everything in, you can focus on adding those all-important finishing touches. A houseplant in the corner of the room will set everything off beautifully; and hanging some pictures of you and your family around the house will finish off the design with your personal stamp.

How Far Will You Go for Fashion?

People go to extremes for everything, but the fashion world is probably filled with some of the craziest and most dedicated people in the world. Whether it’s paying several thousand dollars for a shirt or performing body modifications, there are some people that are willing to pour time, effort and money into their bodies just to get the perfect image that they desire. But how far are you personally willing to go for fashion?


Would You Buy High-End Fashion?

Are you comfortable with paying a hundred dollars for a skirt or do you prefer to pick up a bargain? Some people hate the idea of paying exorbitant amounts for fashion, but there’s one sole reason why people are willing to go to those lengths: exclusivity. When you see garments from a luxurious brand, there’s a good chance that it’s part of an exclusive collection that is no longer being produced. Fashion brands only release new products every season instead of keeping them as a permanent collection.

This is what warrants their price; the idea that they will never ever be produced again by the original company and only fakes will be created. This gives them an air of exclusivity that is coveted by fashionistas all over the world, and they’d be willing to pay ridiculous sums of money just to wear something that no one else in the world has. Are you willing to go to those lengths? It involves standing in queues at local flagship stores for several hours, and sometimes you need to be lucky enough to win a lottery before you’re even given a chance to purchase them.

Most people can’t stomach the effort and money that goes into obtaining high-end fashion. Some people find it ridiculous and unnecessary, but for those dedicated fashion lovers, it’s their way of life.

Do What You’re Comfortable With

At the end of the day, fashion is a statement and you should do whatever personally makes you comfortable. Some people are comfortable with botox injections to clear imperfections in their face. Others are fine with working out for several hours a day just to get the perfect body image. Whatever you do, make sure you’re personally comfortable with it or else you’re not really defining your own style or using fashion to your advantage. Instead, you’re simply copying other people, and that’s when fashion starts to become more of a catch-up game than something fun and enjoyable.

Whether you’re addicted to budget buys or want to modify your body into the perfect image, make sure you’re comfortable both financially and physically before you make drastic changes. Some people are willing to go to extreme lengths for fashion, but that doesn't’ mean you need to follow in their footsteps. Do what makes you comfortable, not what you perceive is the holy grail of fashion. Buy things you like the look of, wear things that suit you and don’t go out of your way to purchase an item or a service that costs more than you’re willing to pay.

Home Maintenance: Jobs People Need To Consider Before They Sell

Most people are aware of home maintenance jobs like fixing the roof when tiles break during a storm. However, there are some things that almost every homeowner overlooks. Families that plan to relocate in the new future should do their buyers a favour by making sure they complete the tasks outlined in this article. Failure to do that could mean the new owners end up facing a lot of hassle when they first move into the property. Nobody deserves that at a time when they have to unpack and try to make the place feel like home. So, lend them a helping hand before the contracts get signed.


Replacing water pumps

In most instances, homeowners would benefit from replacing their water pumps every ten years. The issue is that most people are unaware of that fact, and so they never perform the job. If families want to sell the property soon, it’s wise to invest in the best solutions on the market. Grundfos pumps are often the product of choice for most professionals. So, it makes sense that homeowners should also use that brand. However, there are many others on the market, and some offer excellent performance. With a bit of luck, that’s a task individuals can perform without specialist assistance. Those who struggle just need to:

  • Search for instructional videos on YouTube
  • Read “how to” guides online


Servicing the air conditioner

In most instances, it’s wise for people to have their air conditioner serviced every twelve months. Again, many folks don’t do that because they forget. However, it isn’t fair to sell a home to a new family and then for them to discover they can’t control the temperature. That is especially the case when Smart Temp thermostats aren’t going to break the bank. So, search online for servicing companies and get in touch with a few different businesses. Let them know the serial number of the unit, and the professionals should provide a quote. There is always room for negotiation, and so it’s sensible to use those figures to drive down the quotes from other firms. Typical air conditioner issues include:

  • Frozen coils
  • Blocked ductwork
  • Electrical control failures
  • Leaks


Maintaining the boiler or furnace

For much the same reason people need to consider their air conditioner, homeowners will also have to think about their boiler or furnace. Both of those devices require annual maintenance and checks to ensure they perform as expected. If families haven’t managed to keep up with that schedule, they should always contact the experts before they plan to relocate and sell the property to a buyer. That way, those individuals will provide their buyers with a property that’s fit for human habitation. Conventional boiler and furnace problems include:

  • No heat or hot water
  • Leaking or dripping
  • Strange banging and other noises
  • Thermostat issues

Readers who remember to perform those maintenance tasks before placing their homes on the market might secure a quicker sale than those who don’t. However, at the very least, families can relax, safe in the knowledge they did everything possible to ensure the home is suitable for new owners. Of course, there are many other things sellers will need to think about, and so it’s wise to use some common sense throughout the entire process.

Summer Activities That Can Still Be Done In Autumn

Autumn gets colder as it goes on and the ground gets crunchier the more we spend time outside. Leaf diving, chestnut collecting, and getting mud stains on your shoes just walking through a park are pretty standard these days. However, just because summer has rolled away from us again doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate in a sunny way. If you have a garden, and some time to spare, what you get up to can still have a summery feel. Below are a few ideas on the activities that can still be done with autumn weather and the busy schedules both children and adults alike have once again.

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Have a Backyard BBQ

During the early autumn, you can have a bbq if you want. With the weather getting cooler and cooler, it’s nice to have a sprinkling of summer wafting towards you in the form of food. If you don’t fancy using your own bbq parts because of possible rain damage, or you have none left over from the summer, you can always pick up some bbq spare parts. This saves you worrying and lets the grill live another day.

Go Bug Hunting

Summer means a lot of bugs are coming out of their warm hidey holes, with crickets covering the local parks and bees all over the sunflowers. However, a lot of bugs are out at this time of the year as well, you’ve just got to check the leaf piles and fallen logs. This is a great family activity, and is hugely educational as well.

So many interesting bugs can come out at the sign of cooler weather, including ones you won’t see in the summer. Creatures such as the gypsy moth have plenty of eggs to find laid on tree trunks during these upcoming months. You might even be able to spot a praying mantis depending on the climate you’re in!

Have Some Outside Sports

Before the winter activities of ice hockey or even a spot of curling kick in, there’s some more traditional sports that can still be played these days. A good kickabout is still possible, and having a few leaves floating along with a ball as it goes just makes it more fun.

You can even go canoeing on calm waters. Autumn is the time we think of reflection on blue rivers with the mountainside shining on them. Well take this image to the extreme with a calm ride down a winding river. If your wanderlust isn’t sated by this idea, then you can explore some caves. With plant life more likely to go into hibernation, it’s easier to find cave entrances. Just make sure you know what you’re headed into and have at least a little bit of common sense when it comes to it.

There’s plenty of things to be done in autumn that mean you won’t be cooped up inside. Let your kids run wild and join them in their efforts. There’s plenty to discover outside this season.