Monday, 4 December 2017

Cleaning for Christmas

When you put up your decorations it is an ideal time to give your home a clean and get prepared for the festive season.


If you are anything like me then you need to make space for the Christmas Tree and this means moving around the furniture, so I always take the opportunity to clean at the same time.

The last thing you want is to be chaos cleaning before guests arrive or on Christmas Eve!

Cleaning Jobs to do in December 


As we are moving furniture I always make sure that I clean the skirting board - my top tip is to use a tumble dryer sheet as all the dust clings to it and it leaves the skirting lovely and clean and also less likely to attract dust.

I try and focus on the areas of my home that guests will see and also on the things that we use at Christmas.  So if you have a special dinner service then make sure you give it a clean.

As I also have Christmas cushion covers I take the chance to launder all the cushion covers that we use the rest of the year.  The same with any linens.

As I know I will be filling the fridge and freezer with lots of lovely grub, I try to defrost and clean them all and take an inventory of what we have at the beginning of December.

I like to have a nice clean oven for the festive season too.

Clean the glasses - during the year we seem to use the same 4 glasses, but as we often have visitors I clean the glasses in the run-up.  Nothing like going to pour a drink and finding a grubby glass.

Clear the clutter - I try and make sure that I get the boys to clear out their old toys early December to make room for any new ones that they get bought for Christmas.



Do you have a cleaning routine for Christmas?





Tuesday, 6 September 2016

8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time

One of the things that I love about the school holidays is the amount of time we get to spend together as a family and it reminds me that I need to make time for the kids during term time.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
Over the summer I have been working with Direct Debit to streamline our finances and I have learned that by having my payments on Direct Debit it frees up time to do other things.   If you are unsure of the benefits of paying by Direct Debit, then do check out my first post here.  This month I am planning to reap the benefits of extra time not doing family admin by spending it with the children now they are back at school.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
It seems that we are all super busy, so these simple tips can make a real difference to the amount of quality time you get to spend with your children now they are back at school.  By using Direct Debit to pay my bills I have more time to spend with the family.

8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time

Do not overschedule after school 
It can be tempting to set up loads of after school activities for your kids, but I am a big believer that children need to have the freedom to unwind after the regimented school day.  Plus for the first few weeks, they will need to reacclimate to school timetables.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
Prepare meals and cook together
One of the times that I love most is when me and the boys or one of the boys spend time in the kitchen together. I cook at least one meal a week with each of them, more and more they are taking charge and I am just directed by them as to what to do.  We menu plan together too. We have some great chats whilst we are preparing dinner.
Fakeaway slow cooker doner kebab
Eat together
This is one of the most important parts of parenting in my opinion.  We eat together as a family as often as we can. Mealtimes, do not have to mean dinnertime.  There are so many benefits to sitting at the table together without interruptions (we have a no electronics at meal times rule). We have conversations, debates, chats and tell stories. Even one night a week makes a big difference.  I have some great tips for connecting with your kids at mealtimes.
cup weaving
Screen free time
We have a rule that screens are turned off at 6pm until the boys bedtimes (apart from movie night).  This gives us quality time for reading, listening to music, gardening, walking, baking, playing games, jigsaws, arts and crafts or just chatting.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
Insist on family time
This is easy for me as my boys are only ten and eleven, but  when I was growing up at least one day at the weekend was designated family time.  We have continued this tradition and spend the weekend as a family.  We try and go out and have an experience one of those day.  Mini and MadDad has football season tickets and love the bi-weekly quality time they spend together.
Tsums Landscape Game in progress
Family Game night
One night a week is designated as family game night.  As soon as the dinner plates are tidied away the games come out and we have competitive fun until bedtime.  This has been one of the great benefits from working with Direct Debit and their Freedom Guaranteed Campaign.  I am spending less time on family admin and paying bills and have more time to spend with the family.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
Family Dog Walks
Since getting Alvin we have walked together more as a family.  We get outside together more, even if it is just for a ten minute walk. We aim for one short walk a day, this can either be all together or one adult with one child.  It gives us one on one time with the children and enables us to have a good chat.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time
Family Movie Night
We also have family movie night one night a week, now this might not always be a movie, it could be a TV show that we all want to watch, but the thing is we watch it together.  We turn off electronics and grab snacks and cuddle up together.
direct debit

Let’s switch to Direct Debit together

Have I inspired you to switch over to Direct Debit yet? I would love for you to join me and see just how easy it is and how much time you can save.

Fancy winning £10,000?

Even better once you have switched you can enter the Freedom Guaranteed prize draw to win £10,000.
8 ways to spend time with the kids during term time

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Over the last month, I have been working on saving money and time by making sure my bills were being paid by Direct Debit.  I want to share with you how getting your bills paid for by Direct Debit means you have more time for yourself (and the family)!
Saving Time and Money with Direct Debit - How switching to Direct Debit can save you time and money .Reduce the family admin and organise your finances.
So I am going to admit that the majority of our bills were already being paid for by Direct Debit, including our gas, electricity, water and council tax. However, this month not only did we change our credit card, but we also switched our bank account.
I have to admit I was pretty anxious as to how everything would work, especially with our new bank account, but I needn’t have concerned myself. Using the Current Account Switch Service all of our payments in and out, including Direct Debits, automatically moved across to our new account.  That was a real relief and better still I didn’t need to do anything.
Saving Time and Money with Direct Debit - How switching to Direct Debit can save you time and money .Reduce the family admin and organise your finances.
Secondly, I made sure that we had a Direct Debit in place for our new credit card.  I was really surprised that we could set up the Direct Debit online and didn’t need to post a form.  I love the fact that we have a Direct Debit in place so that I never miss a payment if we use the card and at least the minimum allowance would be paid saving me from late payment fines.
Saving Time and Money with Direct Debit
So let’s talk about the time saved from doing boring old family admin.  I have to admit I am a big fan of doing it once and doing it right and that is why Direct Debit works for me and my family.  I know that next month I do not have to pay any of those bills manually that I have Direct Debits set up for.   It also meant that I didn’t have to concern myself about any bills due when we went on our recent holiday to France and I could just enjoy the time with my family.
direct debit

Let’s switch to Direct Debit together

Have I inspired you to switch over to Direct Debit yet? I would love for you to join me and see just how easy it is and how much time you can save.

Fancy winning £10,000?

Even better once you have switched you can enter the Freedom Guaranteed prize draw to win £10,000.

Saving Time and Money with Direct Debit - How switching to Direct Debit can save you time and money .Reduce the family admin and organise your finances.

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