Saturday, 31 August 2013

Clarks school shoes - learning about value


I took the boys to Clarks this week to get fitted for their school shoes.  "Clarks" I hear you cry "call yourself a thrifty mum"!

Yes Clarks.  For us Clarks is about value for money and price per wear.  Mini has wide feet and a high instep and trashes shoes from pretty much anywhere but Clarks.  We have tried buying from other shops but each time the shoes have not lasted and we have ended up back at Clarks.  I would much rather the boys grow out of their shoes then wear them out at this age.

I am always confident that the fitting experience is good in our local Clarks and if we are having any issues with the shoes then they take them back and exchange them no quibble.

In fact both the boys school rom last year were in good enough condition to be passed on to friends for their children this year.

What to know the secrets to keeping your childrens shoes in such great condition, they head over to The Mad House for our shoe care top tips.

The Mad House

Disclosure: I was gifted shoes for the boys from Clarks.

Podding Peas - Country Kids



Our garden is not big, but we do have three raised beds in it that MadDad built and this year we have a bumper crop of peas.  As of yet we still have not managed to eat any with our meals as Mini keeps helping himself!

The boys are currently making the most of every moment of sun and were both on the swings in the PJ's tonight after bathtime.

They do not want this summer to end.  Neither do I.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The Mad House

Walkers Mighty Lights Review

When it comes to crisps we are a pretty odd family.  We tend to enjoy family bags, but do not often eat the small bags.  I think this is something to do with the fact that the boys do not have packed lunches and that as a child the only time we ever had crisps was as a family.


We have been reusing the crisp packs over at The Mad House 

So it can be hard finding a crisp that suits all of us.

However, I think we have found our crisps with the Walkers Mighty Lights:

Typical Nutritional Values

A 25g pack of  Lightly Salted Walker’s Mighty Lights contains 114 kcal, 4.7g Fat (7%), 1.2g Fibre and 0.28g Salt (5%).

Ingredients

Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Lightly Salted Seasoning.  The Lightly Salted Seasoning contains Salt, Flavourings, Sugar, Spices and Herbs

Key points:

  1. 30% less fat
  2. No artificial colours or preservatives
  3. No MSG
  4. A source of fibre
  5. Suitable for vegetarians

We all love the fact that they are lightly ridged and do not have a greasy feeling.  They also have a really nice crisp to them and are not too sharp so they cut your tongue.  Out only bugbear is WHY NO SALT & VINEGAR?


Friday, 30 August 2013

5 Ways in 5 Days - The back to school edition

For me September is a time of new starts and new resolutions and with the children going back to school the perfect time to make some financial resolutions to curb your spending.



Day One

Take a home made lunch to work.  Save on buying lunch at work by making your own the night before. This is even easier to do if your children have packed lunches.  You could save around £2.50 a day by making your own lunch.  Not a fan of sandwiches, then why not take leftovers from last nights meal.

Day Two 

Drop the latte.  Instead of grabbing a takeaway coffee each day.  Make your own.  Buy a reusable thermal mug, which is a one off purchase and use that.  You can also get one cup coffee filters which are around 20p per cup.   You could save around £350 a year if you cut out that takeaway coffee!

Day Three

Are you a magazine buyer?  If you stop buying them altogether you could save on average £100 per year.  I have to admit that I love magazines and I ask friends and family to buy me subscriptions as gifts.  Not only are the subscriptions MUCH cheaper, but I get a gift that lasts all year.  Why not look at swapping magazines with other people you know too.  Or just cut them out altogether as you can get some great free magazines online now.

Day Four




Cut out the car wash.  Stop taking your car to the car wash, instead do it yourself or even better get your children to do it for you!  You could save around £300 a year if you are a regular car wash user.

Day Five

Evaluate your gym membership.  When was the last time you used it?  Are you really going to use it?  It pays to be realistic.  I have never been a gym bunny and know as soon as the dark nights come in there would be no way I would go to the gym.  Washing the car will help burn calories!


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The numerous advantages to double glazing

As a home owner, the first time I considered double glazing as a way to save on my energy bills, let’s just say, I was less than convinced. After all, there was a fair cost involved, and there always seemed something far more pressing that needed attending to. However, in recent years as the cost has gone up … and up … and up to the point where my electricity and gas are taking up an increasingly large proportion of my household expenditure, I have been forced to look again, and I must say, with different a conclusion.

Over £3000 a year on energy bills

The fact is, double glazing will come with an initial outlay that can be quite a sum. However, when weighed up against the fact that I am now paying around £70 per week for gas and electric for a 3 bedroomed semi, which houses myself, my husband and our three kids I realised that even a 15% saving could leave me with an extra £546 a year in my purse.

About even

I then looked into how much I could save by having double glazing fitted and I was more than surprised to hear that many organisation claim I could be between £400 and £500 a year better off. Having done the maths I realised that I would probably end up about even. However, the more I looked into it, the more the pros seemed to far outweigh the cons.

Firstly, there is the obvious financial benefits that will leave me paying out much less to the energy companies I use every week. However, I then realised that it would also add to the value of the property. What’s more, I don’t have to worry about painting the wooden window frames as regularly as I used to.

All in all, I think having new windows is a pretty safe bet on the financial front. Energy prices look set to keep rising and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to do so until I am paying out considerably more. It may not be long before the benefits are so obvious, that everyone who hasn’t got double glazing, is getting it.

The Green Deal

As I looked into getting new windows fitted, a friend made me aware of the Green Deal that is also available. Without going into it at length, it’s basically a government scheme which gives you access to having insulation done at a much reduced cost, including new double glazing which I am currently looking into from a top company like Anglian Home. The idea is you get help towards the cost of your windows, which will be weighed up against the amount you are paying for energy bills.

Having given it some thought I’ve decided I am going to have the windows done anyway, as I think it’s worthwhile, with or without the Green Deal. However, if anyone else out is considering the Green Deal, you shouldn’t wait too long before making a decision as I understand funds are limited and it won’t be available for ever.




Sunday, 25 August 2013

Get Budgeting and Be Thrifty

There are some expenses that cannot be avoided when it comes to bringing up children, but thankfully there are some great ways to budget and make your money go further (especially around Christmas time and you have small children). Some are more obvious than you think…

Really think about the present 

It can be tempting to buy expensive 1st year presents for those toddler birthdays. Ask yourself this? How many situations have we seen, where the packaging is genuinely more interesting than the present?  Children love bright, colourful things and my friend’s boy enjoyed sitting in the cardboard box as it had a window (the plastic front piece displaying the tractor) much more than the toy itself. 



Keep wrapping paper or make your own

My parents used to keep wrapping paper if it wasn’t ripped or torn. I’m not on about every single little piece, but if it can be re-used, why rip it and put out for recycling. If you want to opt for an older theme, why not go all out with newspaper and string.  You could even have a go at making your own wrapping paper.

Make cards for birthdays and Christmas

This is an easy one, but often overlooked. The cost of birthday cards is expensive, especially when you consider they are made of card and more than likely thrown away after the event. Children will enjoy making cards and ok the design won’t match the shop brought quality, but it will be unique, personal and cheaper.

Keepsakes

A first birthday/Christmas is special, just as much as the other birthdays. A lot of the keepsakes available are beautiful and worth investing in to capture these moments, but being thrifty and saving money is key. If you cannot afford the keepsake, make your own treasure box or frame a photo. If you know parents with children, ask them if they display their keepsake items anywhere? Make something to display and look at such as a photo or framed picture with a deep back for you to put in bulkier items.

Personal Christmas presents

Everyone with families WILL understand the financial situation of bringing up children and friends will not expect that expensive present – after all, isn’t Christmas about sharing the joy and not who spend the most money. I get a present every year from my best friend and it’s a Christmas tree decoration, or a wall decoration that has been hand-made. This means more to me than any shop brought gift. Why not opt for the personal gifts from your children to friends and family.

Plan ahead with this one and make sure EVERYONE knows your gifts will be from the children, so please do not expect the latest CD or techie gadget.

Make Your Own Competition

Personal gifts do not have to stop with children. As adults, we are all capable of making something crafty. What about a photo album for parents, or have a go at making a home decoration like a draught excluder or storage holder. If you have a group of friends, why not have a competition who can make the best home-made gift.

Second hand shopping

Swapping and second hand shopping definitely should not be overlooked. There are Facebook groups and sites dedicated to swapping new and nearly new items as children grow out of them. If you are not comfortable with the internet, try looking for local groups or ask at a local nursery if there are events on. Take a trip to your local charity shop and you will be surprised at what you can buy today as a lot of gifts in these places need to be in excellent condition before they are put on the shelves.

Enjoy the simple things

The best things in life are free…so the saying goes. If you ask a child if they want to go to a theme park of course they will, but they would also enjoy a picnic in the park feeding the ducks. It is easy to assume the latest attraction is preferred but I bet we never went to themeparks every summer and you know what? We learnt to use our imagination and entertain ourselves for a short while.


If you have taken the earlier advice from Jen about Christmas shopping early, then why not consider a different gift and sponsor a child in India, Africa or another country that you might have a connection with like Uganda,  from children’s charity World Vision UK. They are dedicated to making a difference to children’s lives in some of the poorest countries. 

Disclosure: Yet another post that doesn't require any.  I support World vision and am happy to provide them free guest posts on my blog.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Swimming

This week we are enjoying some french sun courtesy of Thompson Alfresco.  

One thing that you can guarantee that will keep my boys happy is a swimming pool.  Both of them are water babies and I am sure they are developing gills and scales as they have been in the pool every day of the holiday.  

We have been spending the day's exploring chateaux and the local area and then the evenings are filled with pool time.

Just a selection of their pool time!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The Mad House

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Respect

As a mum of two boys who both play Junior Football this is really pertinent to me.  I also have a husband that used to be a youth football coach, but decided due to parents attitudes he could no longer continue.

Something has to be done as behaviour breeds behaviour.

 

Disclosure: This post does not need disclosure I have posted because I believe in respect in every community. 

Monday, 19 August 2013

The thrifty mums’ guide to Christmas shopping the savvy way

OK so the months of August, September and even October are too early to start thinking about Christmas, right? We should leave any thoughts of presents, mince pies and carols well out of our head until at least after Bonfire Night, shouldn’t we?

The cost of Christmas certainly isn’t getting any cheaper, especially if you’ve got children whose Christmas lists seem to grow in length and value with each passing year. For many families who have quite a tight disposable income all year round the additional expenses at Christmas can leave them paying off steep debts and horrific levels of interest well into the New Year. To help prevent the dread of the credit card bill arriving in January, it makes sense to start Christmas shopping early and spread out the costs well in advance.

Spread the costs by Christmas shopping early

In this sense starting to think and preferably shop for all those presents, decorations, drinks, games, clothes and general excesses Christmas demands, early and getting little bits ‘ticked off’ each month will dissipate the costs and mean that mums won’t be forced to hover close to the ‘Red’ come December.

Bag yourself a bargain

Unless you are brave enough to leave the Christmas shopping right until the death, namely on Christmas Eve, shopping for the festive season during November and December is unlikely to involve any sales. By contrast, sales are usually present during the late-summer and early autumn so why not take advantage by getting a few presents bought when the sales are in full swing.

Start saving now

It’s never too late to start saving. In order to secure your brood’s Christmas wishes and make sure that no one in the family goes without this Christmas without having to borrow any money, start saving for Christmas today.

Simple things like refraining from buying that cup of coffee on your lunch break or cutting out the pub on a Friday night and putting the money in a Christmas fund jar will mean that by the time December arrives, you’ll have saved enough money to at least buy the turkey.

Shop online

Instead of trawling from shop to shop searching for a specific toy, a Christmas tree or an artificial snowmen, why not shop online from the luxury of your own home?  Not only is ecommerce retail therapy more convenient but every thrifty mum will know that it can work out cheaper.


Think about it, shopping from your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone eradicates the need for petrol money or a bus or train fare to reach the shops. So depending on how far you live away from the shops, you’ll immediately have a few extra pounds in your pocket.

Not only this but shopping online means that you can take advantage of the price comparison sites and really scrutinise prices in order to secure the best price.

Being more convenient and infinitely less time consuming than spending hours trawling the high street shops, by doing your Christmas shopping online you’ll free up time to spend working and making money – it’s a win-win situation.


Christmas Trees and Lights is an online store that sells a myriad of Christmas-related products, including decorations, crackers and lights. Real savvy thrifty mum shoppers will take advantage of Christmas Trees and Lights summer sale, which ends at the end of August. 


Thursday, 15 August 2013

5 summer garden games

 

We are off on holiday on Saturday, but this summer our garden has been used more than ever before due to the lovely weather and I wanted to share some of the games which we have been playing in the garden.  I have also been have a good look at All Garden Games and we are currently lusting after a crochet set for the garden, However, you can have just as much fun in the garden with what you already have at home.

Garden Olympics

What with the Olympics last year and the Athletics world championships just having been on TV, my boys are obsess with all things Athletics.   They have been using a frisbee as a discuss and trying to do the longest jump.  They also have running races and replay races with friends.

Obstacle Course

Anything in the garden can become part of an obstacle course and my boys have this off to a fine art.  They set a course with the swings, small trampoline and washing line and then  set each other the challenge to finish it first.  They have to jump over the trampoline, do 10 swings, run four times round the whirligig, climb under the table etc.

Tenis

Both the boys have had great fun playing tennis in the garden since being inspired by Andy Murray and his win at Wimbledon.  We have lost lots of tennis balls, but it has been more than worth it to see them improve and have so much fun.


Bubbles

Bubbles are a huge hit in my house.  We make our own bubble mix and the boys can play with them for hours.

Water

I know that I am not alone in having children that are obsessed with playing with water.  So we have planty of water guns and we all having fights together.  We also love water bombs and anything to do with water in the garden.  I know that my boys would have a blast in Mummy Mummy Mum's garden, just take a look at the fun their have with water.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Win a Sainsbury's Bumper Book of Summer

I know that the summer holidays are nearly over for some of my Scottish Friends, but this book of over 60 boredom-busting ideas is great for weekends as well as summer.



It is filled with step by step guides including a DVD for those of us that like moving instructions, ideas for recipes, activity days, ideas for back to nature play and alo imaginary play ideas for children aged between 3 and 12.

I love that most of the ideas do not require you to spend any money and use things that you or your children will already have making for great frugal fun.

If you want your own book and can not wait for my giveaway, then you can buy your own Bumper Book of Summer from stores and online for just £5.

I also think the website is a great resource and is filled with ideas and activities too.

I am also giving away a bumper scrapbook so your children can record all their summer adventures too.

As the summer is moving on fast this is a quick giveaway and will close on Friday.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 12 August 2013

Slow cooker sausage casserole

Even in the summer there is something about tucking in to comfort food, especially after a really busy day and for us one of the fab, easy, slow cooker meals that we all love is Sausage casserole.   I tend to use any vegetables that we have left the day before food shopping and in the summer months add peas and beans from the garden at the end of the cooking process. 

It is a simple dish, but one that is always polished off by the boys.  Schwartz has an easy to follow sausage casserole recipe for cooking in the oven, below is my recipe to cook it in the slow cooker.



Ingredients:


  • Pack of good quality sausages
  • Diced onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed or chopped) 
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Any other root vegetables that you have.
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 350ml of warm stock
  • (option vegetables - chopped peppers, new potatoes and mushrooms)

Method:

I brown the sausages off in a pan with a tiny bit of oil and then remove and add them to the slow cooker.

In the same pan fry the onion, leek and garlic and stir in the flour and tomato puree

Transfer to the slow cooker

Clean the pan with a small amount of stock and transfer to the slow cooker and add the remaining vegetables to the slow cooker with the remainder of the stock.

I try to ensure that the ingredients are just covered with liquid and I cook on low power for eight hours of high for for hours.



If I have added potatoes to the sausage casserole we tend to eat it with crusty bread or with Yorkshire puddings.  otherwise it is delicious over mash potato or jacket potatoes.



IPad Craze Among Kids of All Ages

Since the time iPads have been launched by Apple, the developers are making best of efforts to make it as trendy as possible. With advent of each day, various new technologies are added to the device which make it all the more amiable amongst the youth. It is but obvious that with the release of fashionable touch screen iPads the overall craze for gadgets has witnessed a massive increase. IPads come with multiple applications that turn them to be one of the most required devices amongst the young generation.

An iPad is capable of connecting internet, shooting videos, playing music, playing games, GPS navigation and lots more. The interacting applications in the device help kids to spread texts messages amongst their friends for free. If one owns an iPad then one can install various categories of applications like movies, games, sports, finance, traveling, social networking sites, education, books and much more. Irrespective of millions of pre-existing apps, it is interesting to note that the craze for new apps is still at its peak. Youth are still looking forward for more and more applications in order to simplify their works thereby keeping them up-to-date.

The main reason behind growing popularity for iPads is that it supports millions of applications. Such applications act as a viable solution for number of problems. They help youth to eliminate time wastage along with acting as a source of entertainment. Social networking apps help kids to directly connect to the social networking websites without launching them. Moreover the updates and texts received over the social networking accounts are immediately conveyed to the users with the help of such applications.

An iPad allows kids to watch television wherever and whenever they want. The IMDB application stored in it can help one to connect to the live television with the help of fingertips. The device is also capable of connecting itself to the television screen in case one does not wish to watch videos over a mini screen. One can ditch the traditional television cable wire with the help of this prolific device. The sling box application will never ever let one be without television.

Youth love to play games and iPad is something that gives them exactly what they want. Another name for iPad is `gaming machine`. The capability to use accelerometer and gyroscope by ipad redefines the experience of gaming altogether. It allows the users to play augmented reality games which make ipad most preferred amongst youth. The splendid retina display and motion sensors incredibly rejuvenate the gaming experience of the players. One can spend hours playing games over an ipad.


Teenagers are mostly fond of reading books and novels.  They can read as much books as they want with the help of online book store by Apple. The users can download eBooks for free and can read them whenever they want. News contents and e-magazines are also available for the enhanced entertainment of the users. It would not be wrong to say that iPads have given an entire new definition to the newspapers in this digital era. An ipad is really a stalwart. 


Friday, 9 August 2013

School Uniform by Asda - Review

We have a new Asda store open on the edge of our village and as both my boys had something of a growth spurt over the last term of the school year I purchased some trousers and polo shirts for the boys and was really impressed with them.

Asda have also sent me some school uniform to put to the test with the boys this year.  Up to know I have to say I am really impressed with the quality and cost of the items we received and also the style differences on their clothes.

Trousers



I received some of the Asda Slim Fit Cargo Trousers.  My boys are both on the slim side and love cargo pants as they have extra pockets for all their stones and other things they collect.  I love that these are a slim fit and look great on.  They have adjustable waists too and cost £5 per pair.

Polo Shirts


Mini is a polo shirt boy and as he is noise with muck on I got red ones in the hope they stay cleaners for longer.  Asda polo shirts are true to size and do not shrink when washed, plus they come in a rainbow of colours and are only £2.50 for a pack of two.

Sweatshirts



We also have a couple of sweatshirts that I bought from Asda last year and at £2 you can not go wrong.  I have the school badge out on them at £2.50 a piece, which cost more than the sweatshirts!  They have washed well and not bobbled or shrunk.  They also come in more colours than I have seen another other supermarket stock.

Notable extras.


Other items that are really good value include this fab waterproof fleece lined jacket that I was sent for Mini.  It is only £5 and perfect for those Autumn and Spring days when you do not need a heavy weight coat.

There is free delivery on if you spend over £20 at the moment too.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

School Uniform by Tu put to the Breakdancing test

If you children are anything like mine then they certainly put their school uniform though its paces.

Some days I wonder what they have been getting up too. Now I know it is not breakdancing like Tu have put there clothes though, but I do hope they stand up to football just as well!

 This is a really cute video, well worth the watch.



Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Five free summer activities for children

I hope you are enjoying the summer holidays.  We are, but I am also aware that I am trying to stretch limited funds till the end of them and so today I have five ideas for free activities with your children.



Picnic in the park

We often make our way round all the local parks.  Sometimes a change of scenery does you good.  I pack our lunch in to a cool bag and take a flask of tea for me and we set off on a park adventure.,

Rock Pooling at the Beach

We are lucky enough to live by the seaside, but our local beach is not the best place to rockpool.  However, 10 minutes down the road is the perfect rockpooling beach.  We take a bucket and space and the obligatory picnic, but also towels and crocks for going in the pools.  My boys love seeing what they can find.  You can also take pictures and try and draw some of the creatures when you get some.

Backyard Olympics

Why not take advantage of the lovely weather we are having in the UK and make up your own games and have your own Olympic games.  You could make your own medals too.  

Woodland treasure hunt

How hard to make the treasure hunt would depend on the age of your children.  You could do a picture hunt, which you draw on a sheet of paper what you want your children to find ie pine cone, leaf, feather etc or if they are older you could look for specific types of trees and signs of animals.

Visit a local free museum or Art Gallery

We have some fab small local museums and the summer after lunch is the perfect exploring time.  Many offer free arts, crafts and children's activities over the summer.  So why not check out your local councils website.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

5 ways to make cash from old clothes

I am on quest to make some money in order to pay for our holiday after a car repair wiped out all our savings.


So I am firstly looking at ways to make money from things that we no longer need and one of the things that we have far too many of is clothes.

So here are my top tips on how to make cash from clothes:

  1. Use a cash for clothes site like Music Magpie.  Music Magpie is a brilliant place for exchanging branded clothing for cash.  
  2. Ebay - Ebay is great for selling clothing bundles.  So if you are looking to sell a certain amount and size of childrens clothes this is the perfect place.  Individual items no longer sell so well due to the increase in postage costs.  If you are selling a bundle, make sure you list ALL the clothes, their condition and size.  Also take photo's of them in groups.  Use a local courier company for shipping.  
  3. Car boot sale - car boot sales are still good for shifting large amounts of clothing but do not expect more than 50p to £1 per item.  Make sure they are clean and ironed and I find that using a rail and hangers more effective than folding them.
  4. Use a clothes for cash collection point.  In one of our local out of town shopping places there is a place that weighs your clothes and gives you some money for them.  You do not get a lot, but at least the clothes are not going to landfill.
  5. Vintage shops.  Some vintage shops will buy clothes from you to sell themselves, alternatively they offer you a percentage of the sale.


Having a baby requires months of planning, from buying new clothes, choosing the nursery furniture and not least of all, choosing a name. Check out this infographic charting the most popular boys' and girls' names in England and Wales, compared to the most popular Windsor family names.

Monday, 5 August 2013

I need your help

We committed to going to Florida with my Brother and his family in November over two years ago.  But we are really struggling with saving the money and also getting by on a day to day basis.

So I am looking at you to help me by suggesting ways to earn more money or make money.

I am looking to do a car boot sale already, but am aware that I am not going to make much.

I have tried ebaying, but with the postage costs it is just not feasible at all.

So come on, I need to make £4000 between now and the end of October.

HELP


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Will Benidorm be a good location for my honeymoon?

So you are getting married and you are wondering how the heck you are going to afford a honeymoon on tip of the lavish spending for you dream wedding. Thankfully, going away for you honeymoon doesn't have to be as expensive as you think.

First of all, you need to decide what you want out of your honeymoon. Is it a week or two in the sun? A marathon drinking session with your newlywed partner? A pampering session at a spa? Just getting the location sorted will take a load off your mind.

Many people think Benidorm is party central, but in actuality, it is a beautiful city with a wonderful vibe and a friendly welcoming culture. If you love going abroad but struggle with the language, choosing a place with lots of English tourists means that you will always be able to be understood.

Choose a hotel that is suitable for you needs as well. There are some excellent hotels which are more than suitable for your honeymoon, especially if you are on a tight budget. If you love lounging by the pool or if you are going away with your kids too, why not try Magic Aqua Monika Holidays for your budget honeymoon? If you choose here, remember to book early and that you can tell them you are on honeymoon to ensure that you get the best room available! This trick can work throughout your honeymoon. If you brag about your recent nuptials, you can sometimes get better rooms, better flights and better tables in restaurants!

You can go off season, as Spain remains warm for much of the year, and you can save money by going out of the school holidays. The closer you are to home, the cheaper it will be but that doesn't have to come at the cost of getting a sun tan.

An all inclusive holiday can keep costs down and just because you have food and drink at the hotel doesn't mean that you can't go out for a romantic candlelit dinner somewhere else if the mood takes you.

Benidorm has a wild reputation, but it also has a romantic side. Take a trip up to Placa Del Castell to watch the sunset and enjoy a glass of bubbly with your partner. Remember, this holiday is the first day of the rest of you happily married life.



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Need help with being a great parent?

Whoever said that being a parent was a simple job obviously had no appreciation of the real world and real children!  Unfortunately for those of us who are parents nowadays, it is becoming more and more complex as time passes. This is not because children are naughtier or more mischievous or anything else due to physical or biological changes; it’s simple because children + technology = headache!  And a big one at that!

We all talk about what the world was like when we were children.  We played out in the sun all summer, roamed the countryside as free as a bird during the school holidays and only came home for tea when we got called in by mum and dad!!  Maybe there are a few children that still like to do this, but for many parents, we now find ourselves competing with and having to deal with the dramas created by technology.

In such a complex time it is great to know that there is help at hand.  Websites like Quib.ly can help us keep things in perspective and share our thought and our problems.  No matter what issues we are having to deal with, it’s great to know that there are like-minded parents around going through equally stressful times and trying their best to cope with being a parent.   Websites like this cannot take the problems or the stresses away but they sure can help point both parents and children in the right direction when it comes to dealing with a world full of constantly changing technological items. 



Even if we are not that much interested in modern technology ourselves, we owe it to our children to help them negotiate their way around the vast arena of products and services that are available and growing by the minute.  Our children are proactively targeted by advertisers who know what buttons to press.  They know how to best approach them and how to make their latest product the ‘must have’ of the moment.  Of course we don’t want them to miss out on anything, but we also have to help them know where to draw the line.


By understanding the new technology ourselves we can help them map out a future that will enable them to grow and flourish, using the latest products to aid rather than hinder their progress through into adulthood.  Yes technology can be fun but it can also be fraught with dangers for children and their families that are not switched on to what is happening in the virtual world.  Whether it’s something as simple as ‘should they have a TV in their bedroom’ or something more complex such as ‘how can I restrict my child’s internet browsing’ forewarned is forearmed.  Being aware of the pitfalls and the mistakes that others have made enables us as parents to move forward without falling at too many fences.   We need to be able to guide our children in the right direction, rather than finding out retrospectively that they have already gone in the wrong direction and trying to put things right!


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