Prevent Tantrums With These No-Tears Travel Tips

If you have been struggling to find the time to spend with your family recently, it could really pay off to book a holiday. When you go away for a few nights, you won’t have to worry about work and all the stresses of home, and you can simply kick back and relax with your partner and kids.


Even though this may sound like the perfect way to spend your days off, some parents prefer to stay at home as traveling with young kids can prove to be a bit of a nightmare! If they are especially young, you could experience a few tears and tantrums after a few hours of traveling. But it doesn’t have to be that bad. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can make long periods of travel easier for both you and your children. Just follow these no-tears travel tips!




Mix Up The Travel Options


No matter how old you are, you will always find long periods in a car very boring. So, if possible, it’s a good idea to try and mix up long sections of travel by using different methods. For instance, rather than spending seven hours in a car, why not take the train followed by a  chartered coach. You can research the different companies online and, for example, read online reviews on Shofur. This way, you can see how previous travelers have found the different companies. Mixing your travel options up in this way will keep your kids excited. They will be intrigued by the different travel methods and won’t get bored so easily!


Always Bring Snacks


You don’t want to be sitting in a traffic jam or on a delayed train when your kid starts complaining of hunger! Without any food, their complaining could quickly escalate into a full-blown tantrum! So it’s a good idea to always have some snacks with you in your handbag or hand luggage. Make sure they are healthy, though, as sugary snacks will only make them hyperactive, which will bring even more problems!




Give Them Something To Do


Activities will be limited out on the road, but there are some fun things that your kids can do. Firstly, you might want to give them a disposable camera so that they can take pictures of all the things they spot out of the bus, car, or train window. If you can’t find a camera, you could simply give them some paper and crayons so that they can draw all the views!


Always Keep Clean


Bugs can attack when you’re traveling, and your kids will be at risk of falling ill. To make sure that this doesn’t ruin your vacation, it’s a good idea to keep some sanitizer hand gel and antibacterial wipes with you on the road. This also makes it very easy to clean up after all of those snacks!
As you can see, traveling with young children doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Do you have any other great tips? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in travel

The Weird & Wonderful World Of Florida

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If you’re known as The Sunshine State, then chances are you’re going to be a hotspot for anyone vacationing, staycationing or just hopping around the globe as their nomadic heart sees fit… and that is exactly what Florida is. It is The Sunshine State, a haven of great weather, exotic locales, gorgeous coastline and mega-tourist destinations. It has something for everyone, even those families traveling to a new destination that are a little weird and wonderful.


You see, Florida is more than just a bunch of mainstream attractions and novelty must-dos. It is also home to some of the most offbeat and bizarre experiences anyone can hope to stumble upon, which is why we love it, and why we’re sure you will too.


You’ve Gotta Check Out This Zoo

When you come across lists that contain zoo’s, they are always in capital cities, which is what makes this one different. Naples Zoo is a must-pop-by destination if you’re in Florida with your kids, not least because it houses the Fosa (yeah, that’s a Madagascar reference). But that isn’t all because it also has some of the most stunning animals known to man, like tigers from Indo-China, and laughing hyenas and awesome leopards and loads of other things for your kids to gawp at. It also has some of the most celebrated educational experiences including live shows and feeding performances. Yeah, you can watch the tigers eat stuff. Now that’s cool.


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The Everglades National Park

Okay, this is every bit as gorgeous, astounding and picture perfect as the name suggests it is, and it has always been seen that way. You see, after the Second World War, a bunch of environmentalists decided that this place was such a spectacle of natural beauty that it needed to be protected by the government, and they agreed. The rest say the say is history or, in this case, the rest is the second largest national park in America (second only to Yellowstone). Of course, you may be thinking that it is a challenge to hop from one side of Florida to the other but a) it isn’t because you can literally get this shuttle and b) it will be totally worth the trip. What makes it so special? Well, how about this for a quick list: rivers, lakes, subtropical marshes, swampland, otters, crocs, turtles and even panthers. Now that is a collection of animals to drop jaws. But if that isn’t enough, you can ride an airboat through the swamps.


Unleash Your Inner Nerd

If you’ve got a young boy (or a husband) with you, then this is going to make their trip by blowing your minds because Florida is where the Kennedy Space Station is. This is 140,000 acres of great American history, where the most influential space launches took place, where the rockets were launched. Come on, if that is everything that you have ever dreamed of experiencing as a family then we just don’t know what it is. It is total Nerdvana.


Safari parks Aren’t Just In Africa

If you’re on this list it is because you want weird and wonderful and nothing quite lives up to that like the Tampa-based Busch Gardens. This is a safari park experience that focuses its every effort on getting you up close and personal with some of the most crazily exotic species out there. They have elephants, giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs, gorillas, meerkats, penguins, sharks and just about everything for anyone. Don’t take our word for it, look at the list here Of course, if that isn’t enough to peak your interest then how about the fact that have a ton of different tours for you to experience, from the Serengeti Night Safari to the Elephant insider tour. Come on. That’s gotta grab you by the ears.


They Have One Of The Most Famous Beaches

Miami Beach. Yup. You can go and experience Miami Beach, which is sat on one of the islands that are only linked to the mainland of Florida by a network of bridges. That is pretty cool. If you’re wondering what makes this different from just every other beach in the world, then we have two things to say. Firstly, you’ve not seen a truly golden beach until you have seen this one. And secondly, the art deco buildings here are incredible. Then there is the food. Good food comes from great restaurants and that is what this place is saturated with great restaurants. Sure, your kids may just want fries, but you deserve to taste quality cooking.


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They Have A Serious Race Here

If you’ve never been into Nascar, well, that’s fine. In fact, that is totally normal. But you can’t come to Florida and not at least give their infamous Daytona 500 race a day of your life because it is one of the most legendary sporting events in the world. It is everything you imagine it to be but bigger, better and louder. It is what makes American racing so emphatic, and it is almost a way of living in the Sunshine State, that thing that beats in their heart, Forget the tourist traps like Universal Studios and Disney World, this is what Florida is about to the locals. Yeehaw.


There Is A Town Called Celebration

This town was originally the vision of The Walt Disney Company who hailed it as the town of the future, and you can completely understand the link between it and Disney the moment you see it. There is just that vibe about it, that artificially perfect small town that could easily be nestled behind Main Street at Disney World. It is bold colors and crazy ideas and just totally peculiar. It is exactly like it has fallen out of the mind of someone delusional but in a good way. The fire station is oddly great, the fountain is dreamy, and the community is amazing. It is worth a look, if not just to imagine what it would be like to live in that place Edward Scissorhands lived in.

Posted in travel

What To Know When Renovating A House


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When making the decision to buy a house, especially if you are trying to save money, you might consider buying one that is a little run down and renovating it. From a financial perspective, you obviously have to calculate whether the reduced price is reduced enough not to make it more expensive when you end up investing money in fixing it up. You might also be worried that renovating a house is too big a job for you. It can be physically exhausting and if you work during the week and intend to work on your property on the weekend, then doubly so. However, many people find that it is, in fact,a cheaper option. It also allows you (or forces you depending on your perspective) to create the house in the exact way that you want it. It is a blank canvas just waiting to be made beautiful. Here are a few tips on how to go about renovating a house and saving money at the same time:


The most important thing to do first is to get a survey and make sure that the house is structurally sound. Next, you should concentrate on the parts of your home that are going to last the longest. These include the bathroom suite you choose and the kitchen that you have installed. You can spend the rest of your life tinkering with the small details, and you will redecorate many times over the years, but you will not replace something as substantial as your bathroom or kitchen perhaps more than once. It is a big decision. You should think about adopting a style that is more sedate and less something that is currently fashionable. Tastes change much quicker than you can afford to keep up. The wiser option is to go for something that you hope will look good in twenty years too.


Thirdly, once you have tackled the more substantial issues like any problems with access to the utilities of gas, electricity, and water, a good tip is to paint the entire house a base colour of white or off-white. It is a versatile, non-committal colour that will initially lighten the rooms in your house and then you can take them in any direction that you want. You can paint any colour over white. It gets a lot more difficult to paint over darker colours because you need many layers. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of painting an entire house (which could take about a month or more if you’re only working weekends) then hire someone like the Prime Painting Group. It will be easier, less time consuming and it will allow you to move on to other things.


You will then want to start planning how you want your house to look. With an empty shell you can do anything but you do not want to rush. Take your time and enjoy the process of creating the exact home you always wanted. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, once you’ve finished the project, invite your friends over for a dinner party to show it off!
Photo by Ann Larie Valentine

Posted in building a home

Moving Forward With An Illness

Being diagnosed with an illness is something that many of us dread on our various visits to the doctor. If you have suspected that you have certain symptoms for a while now, you may have even been putting off going to visit a health professional for fear of what you may hear. But what many of us tend to forget is that it is, in fact, possible to continue to live a happy life despite having a chronic illness. Sure, it won’t always be easy, and you and your family may have to make some pretty huge adjustments in order to cope. But it is possible, and that diagnosis certainly does not symbolize the end of your life in any way at all. Here are some of the ways you can manage your condition, and life can carry on despite what it is you suffer from.


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Seek out the best medical support

Having a lifelong illness is stressful enough – you shouldn’t have to put up with medical care that is anything short of exceptional. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current doctor or you feel as though you are not being taken seriously, visit a new one. You are not obliged to remain with the same health professional for the rest of your life, so if your’s isn’t helping you, find someone who will! It can also be worth seeking out specialists who will be able to offer you in-depth and precise care. For example, you may want to find a doctor whose main focus is orthopedic tumors, or a surgeon whose primary field is neurology, depending on what your condition is. It might take a while to find the doctor who is right for you, but once you do, it will make your journey far more comfortable.

Don’t let your illness define you

It can be very easy to slip under the grasp of your illness, to the point that you sometimes forget who you were before you developed it. Sure, you may feel sick – but that does not define you as a ‘sick person.’ There is so much more to you than your illness, and once you start seeing it as something entirely separate from you, it can turn your life around. Make a point of discussing things other than your health when out with friends and family to bring some normality back into your life, and try and keep a positive outlook.
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Seek support from other sufferers

Even if you have the best outlook on life possible, it can sometimes feel lonely when you don’t have people around you who can truly understand. Empathy is very undervalued for people living with an illness, and sometimes it can simply be reassuring to know that you are not alone. Consider joining a local support group and discussing your feelings with other sufferers away from your home environment. This will allow you to leave your health-related issues at the door, and many people find this kind of thing very cathartic.

Posted in health and fitness

These Issues Can Affect Your Child In School

School was a wonderful place for many. The memories of which bring back nostalgia in high quantities. However, there are huge issues that can occur in the school yard. These come in all kinds of ways. It can be hard to sometimes understand what your child is going through, especially if you had a good time yourself. Nowadays, kids video everything. Every tiny thing that happens of any significance is often reviewed in some way on social media. In this way, the humiliation never stops. Technology is great, but in certain situations it can make things worse. You may have considered some of these, but read on as the tips can help your child out.




One of the key issues is bullying. It happens still, just like it did when you were in school. This time, when the day ends, it can continue on social media, through phones, it never stops. This can severely affect your child’s mental health. As well as stop them going to school. If you see attendance issues then you could visit Compass Health Center. You need to get them into school no matter what or they could fall behind. First, take away access to social media because it will depress them. It may be cruel, but you are doing it to be kind. Then you need to get to grips with their teachers and come up with a plan to stop the bullying. It is the only way, direct confrontation can stop it before it gets worse.



Smoking occurs frequently too, though luckily it is harder for them to buy cigarettes. It is still perceived as cool by many youngsters but it is devastating in terms of health. You can get around this by punishing them of course, but also educating them. Show them some shocking pictures of ill people due to smoking or tar invested lungs. The same goes for drugs, which are also popular in schools. You need to ascertain where they got the substances from and kill it at the source. It can be done with tact, especially if other children are involved. The likelihood is that their parents will want it stopped too.
Video games. Have you noticed that kids spend way more time indoors? That’s why. You can’t do much about it, because their friends do the same. However what you can do is ensure some of the time spent indoors is on homework and study. You can put passcodes on TV’s or the consoles for certain amounts of time, so that they can only play at certain times. You should make it clear they can’t just play at any time they want to. Instead they need to be able to study and as a reward get a go on the game. You can beat this somewhat by signing them up to an outside activity. Team sports are great as they’ll meet like minded people. You can foster a love for certain sports, which promote social activity as well as exercise. Do this when they are young so it sets in.

Posted in Education and learning

Easy Steps for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

Easy Steps for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

A good well-maintained lawn is not only a beautiful and welcoming view for your home but it is also a fantastic spot for entertaining, and a place where your kids can play. Having a well-kept lawn is a good way to stand out among your neighbors. A green lawn is also essential in keep the heat down around your house. Starting a new lawn can be very hectic especially if you have less knowledge of what is expected of you. However, once you get started the process of maintaining becomes very easy. The article focuses on helping new lawn owners on how to grow and maintain their lawns.

Mowing basics

Did you know not mowing your lawn leaves it at a greater risk of fungal infections, weeds, and insects? Proper and frequent mowing of your lawn gives it vitality and distinguishes it from the unkempt fields. The process of mowing does not require a lot of skill. All you need to have is a lawnmower, a rake, and some mowing basic knowledge. Below is a detailed description on how and when to mow and the correct equipment to use.

  • How short to mow?

First, you need to understand the type of grass you have. Different grasses thrive at different cutting heights, so you need to adjust the lawn mower only to cut to the right size. The grass should be cut at a third of the grass height, and this will allow the grass to grow healthier root systems and have their shading that helps them preserve moisture. If the grass is cut more than a third its height, it will become distressed, and the whole lawn will suffer.

  • When to mow?

Although lawn experts recommend regular mowing, the time to mow varies mostly on the region and the current weather. Mowing of the lawn should be done on a weekly basis in the spring and once fortnightly in the hot summer. If your grass gets too tall, you should mow a couple of times taking off a small amount each time. Mowing should not be done on wet grass. Mowing should be done early in the morning or late in the evening, avoid mowing during the day.


Choosing the right grass

Planting any grass, you get from your local dealer will not help here. If you plan on having a beautiful lawn that is free from weeds and diseases, then you sow the right grass for your area. It is imperative to test your soil first to know its acidity.

There is two broad categories of grass: cool and hot season grass. Cool season grass thrives between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool grasses include bentgrass, bluegrass, fine fescue, tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. On the other hand, hot grasses grow well in temperature between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Examples of the hot –season grasses are Bahia, Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia. Remember that hot grasses will lose the green color once it becomes cool but the cool grasses will keep the beautiful green color even in winter.

With the knowledge of grasses, now you need to be aware of your zone. Below is a  list of the five zones and the type of grass suitable for the area.

  • Zone 1: Northeast- this area is cold, and you can grow grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue or Ryegrass.
  • Zone 2: South- this area is hot with high humidity; you can grow grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia grass, St. Augustine or Centipede grass.
  • Zone 3: Midwest- the region is very dry and hot: grow grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, Buffalo grass
  • Zone 4: Southwest- the zone is cool, hot and with low humidity. Grow grasses such as Bermuda, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Fescue
  • Transition zone- the zone requires a mixture of both hot and cool season grass.

Getting the right tools

Getting the right lawn tool is a very crucial part when maintaining a beautiful green lawn. There is a shedload of companies that store a large number of lawn tools that will meet all your lawn care practices. Try to avoid buying cheap and low-quality tools, if you can spare some more dollars buy good tools that are strong enough for the purpose and will survive heavy use. The task of choosing the best lawn tools may be confusing and time-consuming. Below is a simplified list of some must-have tools for your lawn and their functions.

  1. A Lawn Mower

A lawn mower is useful when trimming the lawn to your desired size. There are two types of lawn mowers; the electric or gas- powered lawn mower. A human-powered reel mower easily maintains the small-sized lawns, and an electric mower maintains a medium-sized lawn while a gas-powered mower is used in large sized lawns. Ensure that the lawn mower blades are sharp and clean for a clean, well-manicured look. Using dull blades will tear, shred and bruise the grass. Cutting the grass with dull blades increases water loss and leaves entrances for fungus and diseases.


  1. Aeration tools

Aeration is the procedure of getting air into the lawn soil. It involves perforating the soil with small holes that allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate straight to the grass roots. Aeration enables the roots to grow stronger and deeply while producing a more beautiful and vigorous lawn. Aeration can be done suing tools or manually using shoes. Some of the tools include a spiked rolling lawn aerator, forks, scarifier, a hollow tine aerator or lawn aerating shoes. Ensure that the spikes on these tools are sharp for deep aeration.


  1. Sprinklers and hoses

You will need watering tools to maintain a healthy and green lawn. You can opt for a traveling sprinkler which is less expensive than an automatic sprinkling system. Watering the lawn should be done early in the morning as it gives time for the water to penetrate the top surface of the soil. A hose reel system is used to contain and organize the long length hose.

  1. Garden rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow

A garden rake can be used for gathering leaves and lawn clippings, pressing sown seeds, spreading mulch, leveling the soil and removal of other ground-covering materials. A wheelbarrow comes in handy when performing hard tasks such as fertilizing, planting, hauling soil, weeding, pruning trees and raking leaves.  A shovel is useful when planting trees, shrubs and when mixing large quantities of dirt and compost.

Prevention of diseases and fungus


Lawn diseases and fungus is a very big threat to a beautiful lawn. Signs that your lawn may be infected by fungus include dead-looking brown patches, snow molds, slime molds, visible spots, and rings of dead or affected grass, leaf blight, slimes or threads. Lawn diseases and fungus are caused by factors such as:

  • Drought
  • Overwatering
  • Too much or too little fertilizer
  • Choosing the wrong grass
  • Lack of soil aeration
  • Improper mowing; cutting the grass too low or using blunt blades

Lawn diseases and fungus can be prevented easily by practicing good lawn activities. First ensure that you water your lawn early in the morning so that it can completely dry during the day. Watering should be done at least once a week to avoid dryness. Secondly, it is safe to use organic fertilizers as opposed to using synthetic fertilizers. Thirdly, ensure that you follow the correct instructions when mowing. Also use sharp blades to avoid poor shredding. And lastly, choose the right grass type for your soil and location.

In Conclusion

Having a beautiful lawn is without doubt a very welcoming view for your home. A well-maintained lawn is a representation of nature and a clean and organized individual. Following the above well-outlined steps, you can get yourself a beautiful lawn that is easy to maintain.

Posted in Homes and Garden

Give Your Bathroom A New Lease Of Life

There aren’t many rooms in our homes that go through as much as our bathrooms go through on a daily basis. When you bear in mind that you, your partner and your children all probably use the same bathroom, it’s little wonder that all too often the place looks like a bomb has hit it! Everyone has a different preference for bathroom products, so this can lead to an abundance of shampoos and body treatments lying about the place, on top of sponges, hair brushes, and towels. Add onto that the fact that water can easily get EVERYWHERE even during a regular shower, and keeping your bathroom clean and chic can often be a bit of a challenge. All of us want to bathe somewhere that is both hygienic and relaxing to look at, so here are some ideas on how you can keep your family bathroom in tip top condition.


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Take care of your tiles

Chances are that you have tiles somewhere in your family bathroom. Whether they are on your floor, in your shower or on the wall behind your sink (or in all three places!), you can guarantee that they make up an important part of your bathroom. Tiles are great for a bathroom due to their waterproof composition, but this doesn’t mean that they are totally indestructible. Just like with any other material, wear and tear can start to take its toll after a while, and your tiles can easily become chipped, cracked or discolored. That’s no reason to think that all is gone, however, and you need to lay down a completely fresh set of tiles. Find a company who specialize in tile repair and see if they can come and save your current tiles. A little bit of regrouting and a few replacements can go a long way!


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Air it out

Bathrooms are notoriously humid places; and while this cannot be avoided, there are steps you can take to minimize the negative effects of such humidity. Steam that hangs in the air can lead to condensation, which in turn can produce mold and all in all, creates a pretty unhygienic atmosphere in your family bathroom. Make sure you have a window in your bathroom that you can open in summer, as fresh air will do wonders for clearing away condensation. If this isn’t an option for you, or if you live somewhere particularly cold, get an extractor fan installed so you can keep the air circulating whatever the weather.
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Invest in smart storage options  

There’s nothing that kills a chic bathroom aesthetic like rubber ducks and oozing shampoo bottles lying all over the floor. Use waterproof baskets inside your shower to store all the products you need within easy reach, and encourage your family to use them too! As far as towels go, install a couple of rails so you can hang the towels out to dry – or, if a lack of space is an issue, roll them up into sausages and pop them in racks or baskets on the floor. With a little bit of TLC, you can soon have your bathroom looking as good as new.

Posted in Home and functionality

Making Time for Family as a Parent in Healthcare

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People in the healthcare business are among the busiest professionals our society has. And this can create a lot of personal problems for them, especially if they’re parents. If you’re in this position, then there’s no doubt that you want to be able to spend more time with your family. Here are a few suggestions that will get you closer to that goal.


Look into part-time work (or days)


A lot of healthcare professionals don’t like the idea of changing career. But if it’s something that will help you achieve a better work-life balance, then it’s certainly something that’s worth investigating. You could make a move to a part-time carer, for example, which will give you a bit more flexibility.




If you don’t want to make the move, then consider requesting a cut in hours from your current work schedule. While the healthcare system is often overworked, there may be opportunities for fewer hours every now and then if you ask. Something else you could consider is a rearranging of your schedule. Instead of working fewer hours across a week, consider taking on more days but with fewer hours within those days. This can result in more evening time in total – the precise time your family are going to be home from work and school.


Start your own practice


Much of this problem that healthcare professionals have – and, of course, doctors in particular – is that they often have very little control over what happens in their career. They get a call and bam – they’ve got to be somewhere else. A patient takes a sudden turn for the worse and they’ve got to get to that patient’s side.




If you’re still passionate about healthcare but want more control over your career, then you could consider starting your own practice. This, of course, will be a time-heavy endeavor for a while. But it will give you more control over that time. A lot of professionals actually pursue this route in order to spend more time with their family. Consider looking into practice finance.


Remember what you want outside of medicine


The life of a healthcare professional is often taken up, minute for minute, by thoughts of their career. There are so many complexities and worries that emerge from this line of work that you tend to think about it all the time, finding yourself unable to truly switch off. So it’s important that you actually take the time to assess your own needs and desires. Don’t just assume that this is a selfish thing for someone working in healthcare to do. Not everyone expects you to be some sort of unbreakable superhero!


If you need to, take some time off. Then make a list. You may think this sounds a bit trite, but never underestimate the power of getting your thoughts into order. You don’t have to think about the long-term; that’s often what makes people so stressed. Think of things you want to do from a short-term perspective. Want to take a trip somewhere with the kids? Want to paint or read more? When you start listing things, perspective and focus will come.

Posted in Working Moms

What To Bear In Mind When Moving Home With Kids

It’s little secret that buying a property can be stressful at the best of times. The market is so confusing, there is a tonne of legal jargon to get your head around, and there’s no guarantee you will even walk away with a house at the end of it all, either! If you are already a homeowner, you will know this only too well. But there’s one thing that can make the whole process even more difficult than normal, and that is having children. Buying your home was hard enough, and that was when you only had yourself to think about. If you are currently pregnant, or if you already have kids and desperately need to move to a bigger house, you automatically have a lot more responsibility on your shoulders. We all know how easy it can be to get carried away by big, dreamy family homes – and due to the competitive nature of the market, many people end up putting deposits down in a panic on a house that doesn’t meet their family’s needs. If you are someone who is wanting to upgrade their family home but who doesn’t want to rush into an unsuitable sale, take a look at these tips below for finding your perfect nest.


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Choose practicality over your emotions

How our homes make us feel is a huge part of why we love them, and what draws us to them in the first place. For example, you may be entranced by a property you view with a stunning garden, one that looks as though it is straight out of a fairytale. Or you may fall in love with a period property that still retains plenty of its old Georgian decor and fixtures, such as adorned worktops and a spiral staircase. All of these sound breathtaking and can add a whole lot of personality and vibrancy to your home. But try and step back from your emotions for a second and look at the practicality of such features. Sure, the property with the amazing garden might capture your imagination. But if said garden backs onto a busy highway, and you have two or three ruthless children, is it the best option for your family? The same thing goes for the stunning period property. All those Georgian features might make you melt, but are those cabinets at just the right height for your child to bang their head on, and the staircase impossible for your three-year-old to navigate? It might pain you to do so on a personal level, but disregard properties like this that simply won’t work for everyday living. Your future self will thank you for it!


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Bear in mind all aspects of the neighborhood

When you move house, you are not only moving to a new set of bricks and mortar. You are also moving to a new neighborhood, which will be full of new people, new amenities and new sights. As a general rule, always consider the area before you even look at any properties. You need to make sure it is a family friendly neighborhood – somewhere that your children can thrive in. Of course, everywhere has good and bad in it, and reading online forums are unlikely to give you a real view of what a particular place is like. Instead, read up on the practical things you know you can trust (like the ratings of the local schools), and then visit the area with your children in tow. Sometimes you just get a good feeling from certain places, and if you get that when you visit a prospective neighborhood, you know you can go ahead and start looking at properties.


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Make sure you have enough room

The number one reason why families move home is because of a lack of space in their current property. Children may be small, but they sure do come with a lot of stuff! You also need to be aware of any privacy your children will start to require as they move into their teenage years. For example, there is no point buying a two bedroom property just because your two young twins still currently share a bedroom. By the time they reach puberty, they are going to want some of their space, so invest in a three bed instead. This will save you a lot of hassle in the future. It can also be worth buying a home with an attic or a basement, as this gives you the option to carry out a future conversion if you so wish. Attic and basement conversions can add thousands of pounds onto a property’s value, so don’t rule this out when buying a family home.
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Posted in Moving Day

Welcome To The Family: An Essential Checklist For New Dogs

Congratulations! You’ve brought the new dog home for the first time. Although you have prepared extensively for this day by buying toys, a bed, and other accessories for your new family member, it will take some time for everyone to establish a new routine. Your dog may need things that you haven’t even anticipated yet. Here is a quick checklist to make the transition easier for everyone.

Make sure everyone is on the same page

Dogs are hard work at the best of times, but even more so when they’re confused and adjusting to a new environment and strange people. Make sure the whole family will follow similar guidelines when interacting with their furry companion. Everyone must discipline and train the dog, in the same way, give him food at the same time each day and decide who will be taking him out for walks. Several other house rules must also be agreed upon, so the newest family member has a smooth induction.

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Puppy-proof your home

Even if your new pet is not a young pup anymore, it’s a good idea to make a note of potential hazards. Remove any toxic plants in the garden, invest in childproof latches to secure lower cupboards, especially if that’s where you keep the cleaning products, close off staircases with a baby gate and keep sentimental items out of reach until you’re sure your puppy has learned not to chew through everything.

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I.D your dog

A dog tag will get him back to you if he ever gets lost. It’s also a good idea to get him microchipped (see Oz Microchips for more information) just to be safe. The sooner you get this done, the less you’ll have to worry about your new furry friend while he finds his bearings in a new neighbourhood.

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Arrange for home care

Even if you plan to take some time off to help your dog adjust to your home, eventually you will have to go back to work and make sure someone is around in case something goes wrong. Look into local dog walkers, doggy daycare or even a regular dog sitter and take them time to get Rover used to the concept before you get back to your usual routine.

Start training right away

It may not be fun teaching a dog new tricks, but the sooner you start, the quicker he will learn some basic manners. In the long run, it will be less nerve-wracking introducing the puppy to your friends if you’re confident he won’t jump on them, bite them, or get distressed.

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Find a vet

If their first time at the vet is a disaster, your dog will fight you every time he needs a check up. Do your research, and if possible read testimonials before booking your first appointment. If the experience is pleasant, your dog will take each visit in stride.

Others are sure to have more advice that will make the first few weeks easier for you and your dog.

Posted in Animals and Pets