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Safeguard Your Home For Kids To Safely Play This Christmas

The most jubilant time of the year is fast approaching, and many of us will soon be overwhelmed with a demand for gifts, arranging celebrations and family commitments. Considering the stress associated with this chaotic change of pace, it’s no wonder numerous individuals disregard the most important concern of all –  your family’s continued safety. With all the festivities, relatives and yuletide wishes rolling around, it’s not surprising that we’re at our most accident-prone during this time. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents states that “more than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year, for which they are taken to accident and emergency units.” The clamour and commotion we’re exposed to during this time creates additional stress, which can be a contributing factor towards forgetfulness and clumsiness. There are several solutions that the experts recommend however, some of which you might want to incorporate into your repertoire this Christmas.   The Child Accident Prevention Trust encourages the purchase of toys from credible retailers …

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Autumn is well and truly upon us and brings with it (hopefully) enough dry weather to prepare the garden in time for winter.  Here are some tips on how to make the best use of this time of year: If you save rainwater for watering plants, empty water butts during October and clean them thoroughly. Scrub the inside to remove any algae then rinse out with disinfectant followed by plain water. By doing this now, there’s plenty of time for natural rainwater to refill the butts before the next plant-watering season.  Always cover water butts with lids to keep stored water clean.  As an extra precaution, especially for rainwater that you’ll use for watering fragile seedlings in the spring, use a biological additive. Check the state of the roofing felt on top of the shed. To prevent rotten wood, repair or replace the felt where necessary. Choose a dry weekend to paint all exposed timber, including fencing and decking, with a suitable wood-preservative product. By October, the days become shorter, and natural light is at a premium.  A …

Decorating a Shared Bedroom

I love playing around with interiors, though where we currently live has limited space; with just two bedrooms, my children have no option but to share.  At present, this isn’t a problem. They are seven and eight years old and spend relatively little time in their bedroom anyway.  At the moment, they have a cabin bed each, but we are redecorating at the end of the month and will be giving them bunk beds instead so we have more space for storage in the room. We love this Stompa Uno S bunkbed from Room To Grow for its style. To go with the bed, we have two of these single mattresses, which are great value and super comfortable. As the bed frame is white, I am looking for the rest of the furniture to also be white; I have bought white shelves for books and trinkets, ordered a white bookcase, and will be choosing two wardrobes and one large chest of drawers shortly.  With white furniture, I can afford to be a little more adventurous with the walls.  We are using Valspar …

Hallowe’en Made Easy with Personalised Gifts Shop

In two short, autumnal days, it will be October and the countdown to Hallowe’en will be on. Though not a huge fan of the Americanisation of Hallowe’en celebrations in the UK, I do enjoy the festival as an excuse to have fun with the children, and I adore the process of bringing the outdoors in by choosing a pumpkin and using conkers and leaves in craft projects.  This year, we are planning a Harry Potter-themed party with a couple of close friends and will also be engaging in a few seasonal traditions, such as visiting a local pumpkin display to choose the beasts we wish to carve. If you are yet to make any plans, you may be interested in checking out this Hallowe’en checklist from Personalised Gifts Shop.  A totally free downloadable pack of ideas and resources, it will come in so handy for October half term when the children are bored and need entertaining. Containing ideas on films to watch, music to listen to and games to play as well as pumpkin decoration …

Buying a Family Car

A family car is one of the biggest, most important purchases you will probably ever make, and it is destined to feel like an overwhelming decision.  The sheer choice of vehicles on the market is mindblowing to begin with, so other factors are bound to fall by the wayside.  However, it is really important to remember to check out your new car’s history, and not just its aesthetics, before you take the plunge (assuming you are buying second hand, which is the only financially sensible option, frankly). Utilising an online search tool is probably the quickest, easiest and most foolproof way of checking whether the car you have fallen in love with is really the vehicle for you, or simply too good to be true.  HPI Check, for example, find information on outstanding finance, stolen car details and number plate changes among many other features.  If any one of these checks flashes up something dodgy, it will save a hell of a lot of heartache, not to mention money, further down the line – personally, I would rather check it all out …