5 Tips on Buying a Family Car

If you are thinking of what you need when buying your family car. Have a look at my top tips which I found have been really useful to us.

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The cars that I have bought over the years have changed so much. Not only that but the types of cars that are available now are so much smarter than when I first started driving.

I remember the old mini that I first passed my test in, it was a little beauty but rather temperamental. When it was cold I would have to bump start it down a hill behind my flat just to get it started! I didn’t think too much of it at the time, it was just what I needed to do to get it going. It’s a different story now though, so many more things to think of. Mainly that I am a mum now and I have to take different things into account.

So, it’s a good way to pass on some tips that I have learnt over these past few years. Here I have my..

5 Tips on Buying a Family Car

1. Safety, this has to be the number one thing for me now. Since having children the whole priority on what I need from a car has changed. Cars.com is great because it’s packed full of information about different cars, makes and models. Plus, it has other helpful information as well, including car seat safety check tips and more!

2. How many people are going to regularly travel in the car. We now have a car that normally seats 5 but has 2 emergency seats that turns it into a 7 seater when needed. It’s great to have that flexibility to do that without having the size that a full 7 seater needs all of the time.

5 tips of buying a family car
How many seats do you need?

3. How long to you plan to keep the car? Our discussions are around the money we pay versus how long we plan on keeping it. If your children are younger and you need the space for longer then you need a car that has a good reputaion for lasting and holding it’s value.

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4. Space around the car. By this I mean roof rack and bike rack. See what added space the car can offer. Last year we put a bike rack on that holds up to 3 bikes comfortably. We also have the option of a top box if needed. This all makes a big difference when going on day trips and holidays. It’s better to have the inside of the car clutter free for us.

5. My last tip might seem a bit more frivolous but don’t be fooled. I’m talking about interiors! Bright white leather does look stunning and I’m sure that the latest glossy mags show it off to its glorious best. Now come back down to earth and you will realise that a family car is going to get grubby hand and footprints in every conceivable place. Think long and hard about this often overlooked accessory on a family car. Choose wisely!

5 tips on buying a family car

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Taking Care of our shoes with Granger’s Care Kits

Well, the weather has certainly turned, what a true brit I am to be starting the post talking about the weather!

It seems like only yesterday that we were having some beautiful sunny walks and staying out for what seemed like forever as the sun didn’t set until nearly 9 o’clock.

We had some amazing days out in the summer and still make the most of it now, no matter what the weather.

Taking Care of our shoes with Granger's Care Kits

We had a lovely long walk through bournemouth gardens following a mystery trail. It took us from Coy Pond all the way to the seafront. I certainly had sore feet by the end of it and my lovely OH made the final walk back to the car and then came back to pick me up. I felt a bit of a wimp but it was a nice treat not to have to do the last bit of the walk, I was so tired!

Well I can say that with two boys it’s hard not to start fretting about muddy foot prints coming into the house. Even getting out of our car and coming inside is now an exercise in trying not to get our shoes full of mud from the front garden.

So one of the things that has made it easier is having the chance to try the new cleaning kit from Grangers I have been giving it a go to see if I can make a difference to how the boys shoes look. I’ve also got the chance to have a look at the clothing care kit to treat my waterproof jacket. It gets even better as I have a fabulous giveaway to end the post with so you will get the chance to try out some products too!

Taking Care of our shoes with Granger's Care Kits

The Footwear Care Kit was what I was most looking forward to trying as the amount of shoes I goes through for the boys is huge. Shoes are so expensive and what I really need to do is protect the ones we have and properly make use of the investment I have put into them.

Each kit contains one bottle of Footwear + Gear Cleaner, one bottle of Footwear Repel, one Footwear Brush, and a free tube of Leather Conditioner.


Using is easy and reminded me of when I was small and would sit with my grandad watching him while he carefully cleaned his work shoes. How different memories come to the surface doing the simplest of things. The grip on the handles is comfy and you can make it an easy job by doing it regularly. Like with most things, the more you do it the better the result.

Taking Care of our shoes with Granger's Care Kits

I’m very pleased with the result and delighted to be able to offer for the giveaway today; one Cherry Blossom Ultra Repel and one Universal Cleaner for you to win. You can enter using the rafflecopter entry below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Safe to use on all types of footwear – including those made from leather, suede, nubuck, and fabric – Footwear Care Kit cleans and protects all footwear without adversely affecting any of the technical features your shoes or boots may possess, and is perfect for restoring the water-repellent finish found on boots with Gore-Tex® and eVent membranes.

Taking Care of our shoes with Granger's Care Kits

 


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I was offered a product to review for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. Clean shoes are a massive bonus! Giveaway open to UK entrants only.

Let’s start promoting!

When I was preparing for my recent trip to London to go to Brit Mums Live 17 it suddenly struck me that I didn’t have any publicity material.

I started seeing my fellow bloggers showing their bright spangly business cards on their tweets. People were really prepared and I felt a bit left behind in the promotion stakes. So I thought, let’s start promoting!

I have had it in the back of my mind for a while now that I would like to start having some material or products with my logo on it. I’d love to see my brand displayed on clothes or bags, it would be so cool. When I first designed my logo I was just beginning and it seems like a long time ago.

So I got to it and thought about what I’d like. First up was some business cards. I designed these on my computer and chose the wording with the aim in my head that it was a welcome card to come see my blog.

let's start promoting
My home made business blog cards!

Does it work? I’m not sure but I do know that the understated look works for me. I still won’t have my picture on it but it still represents me in a way that I’m happy with.

I also used Bags of Love who make beautiful personalised gifts with photos of your own designs. They have just about everything you could want to have your photo printed on from personalised suitcases to hot water bottles. Their photo gifts are very impressive.

let's start promoting

Everything is handmade in the UK, built to last and sent out nice and quickly. If you are impatient like me then it’s great!

The bag is perfect for me, it’s very stylish and has loads of room for all kinds of shopping or work material I may have.

It’s also got little pockets on the inside for money and things I need to get to in a hurry! I spend far too long scrabbling around in the bottom of my bags for my car keys so this is a real plus for me.

let's start promoting
I chose pale blue on the sides to compliment my blog logo

So I think I’m just about set for the moment. I like the idea of having some really nice looking journal, so I think that will be my next project.

Can you think of anything else that I could use as promotional pieces?

What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve seen?

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I was gifted the bag for the purpose of reviewing the service. The cards I made myself! It all came together at the right time!

Halloween Pumpkin Carving

It’s that time of year again to go wild with the face paint and walk the streets in search of sweets and mischief. One of the best traditions in our house has been the pumpkin carving. This is totally the domain of my OH. I’m so proud of him I couldn’t resist the urge to showcase last year’s offerings. We are set to try and beat these beauties this year. Stay tuned and they will be on show soon! You can also enter my Halloween Lantern Giveaway to add a little glitz to the night. So, back to last years carvings.

The evening started with the humble pumpkin…

Halloween pumpkin carving

A couple of years ago we brought a pack with all the carving tools in it. It was obviously the OH setting the scene for him to get serious!


The preparation has started and all of the insides are taken out. Sounds gruesome but it’s definitely in the Halloween theme. He uses the stencil for the main shape and marks out the outline.

Halloween pumpkin carving

Before we know it, the unveiling is upon us and look….

Halloween Pumpkin Carving

Oh yeah, not just one, but two! the Prince of Darkness is joined by the Spooky Spider.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving

I love them and the kids think they are fab! They will sit outside our house on Halloween with candles in them and let people know that we are joining in the fun.

How is your Halloween going so far? Do you love to get into the spirit of it, if so how do you celebrate?

Try some monster lollies from what2buy4kids they look pretty cool for Halloween. Great for trick or treat night!

If you have any links to your carvings, please share in the comments section.

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Halloween Luminous Lanterns Giveaway

Luminous Lanterns Giveaway

Oh yes it’s fast approaching us…the time of the year for the streets to come alive with little monsters running around. Yep kids wanting sweets!! Trick or treat is a favourite in our house and we love to dress up and also dress the house up!

I have a great Giveaway for you today. These are perfect for Halloween which is just around the corner.

 

Luminous Lanterns Giveaway

Create a sumptuously soft glow, place a tea light or two inside the bag. Weight down with a little gravel and decorate your outside space.

 

Luminous Lanterns Giveaway

There are 5 bags here to use. Place the lantern bags on a suitable surface and watch the lovely atmosphere they can create.


Enter in the rafflecopter giveaway below to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Open to UK entrants only. See contacts page for full terms.

Good luck!

Keep bags well away from children and animals due to the risk of burning!


 

How Quality Child Care Can Affect Your Child

How Quality Child Care Can Affect Your Child

How Quality Child Care Can Affect Your Child

As a parent, we all want to give our children everything that we can, and one of the best places to start is education. Embracing your child’s natural curiosity and creating a positive learning experience from a young age will give them the tools that they will need to succeed in life. When you send your child to day care, you should choose an establishment that is of high-quality, as well as a good reputation, and that will help your child to develop into a wonderful person.

Communication And Interaction Skills

When you send your child to child care in Sydney, or anywhere else, it will be a new experience to which they are not familiar. However, one of the first lessons they will learn is how to interact appropriately with each other and enhance their overall communication skills. They will learn to follow simple instructions and also to get along with each other. Having excellent communication skills and being able to interact with other members of society are essential skills for them to succeed in their lives.

Create A Hunger For Learning From New Experiences

One thing that you may find when your child starts to attend nursery for the first time is that they develop a hunger for learning and trying new things, which is common in many children. The newly found passion can be something that they will take with them into their adult lives, always wanting to learn more, try new things, and expand their horizons.

Help To Develop And Heighten Their Senses

When you immerse your child in a creative learning environment, you will also help to develop and enhance their five main senses which are;

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Smell

As well as these main senses your child will also benefit from the development of other senses such as balance and special awareness. When they are introduced to new situations with strange sights, sounds, smells, and so on, it will heighten their senses and help them to be comfortable with new surroundings and people.

Becoming Adaptable And Self Sufficient

Another significant benefit of sending your child to a quality child care centre is that they will learn to adapt to new situations and people, and also start their long journey on the way to self-sufficiency. The road is a long one, and it will be many years before they are ready to fly the nest, but giving your child these essential life skills from an early age will provide them with the tools that they are going to need to be successful in their lives.

If your child is coming to the age where they are ready to start nursery school, take your time and look at all of the options that are available. Choose a facility that excites your child and will nurture their hunger for learning, take a look at various local government websites for advice from the government on schools in New South Wales or wherever you live. Visit and speak to each establishment and choose the option that will give your child the start in life that they deserve.


This is a collaborative post

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The Best Butternut Squash Recipe

I like to try all the different vegetables on offer and this week I had an organic box delivery which had a great Butternut Squash nestled inside.

I wanted to make the most of what I could do with it so I have devised the best butternut squash supper recipe I can imagine which is great for all the family.

Luckily my boys and OH love their food and will try all the different dishes that I come up with. My eldest son loves sweet potatoes and I think that the butternut squash looks very similar. They have had it before but not like this, being made the star of the show!

The Best Butternut Squash Recipe
Quartered and with the seeds removed
4.75 from 4 votes
The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
Print
The Best Butternut Squash Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

The Best Butternut Squash Recipe. Great for all the family to enjoy.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
Author: mainy - myrealfairy
Ingredients
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper To personal taste
  • 200 g Quinoa
  • 50 g Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. Slice the Butternut Squash into 4 or 6 slices depending on how large it is.

    Place on a baking tray with lining paper

    Sprinkle on the olive oil

    Add salt and pepper to taste


    The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
  2. Roast in the over for 40 minutes

  3. Cook the Quinoa for the required time depending on pre cooked or part cooked.

  4. Take the Butternut Squash out of the oven and immediately grate over the parmesan cheese. 

  5. Serve straight away with the cooked Quinoa.

    The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
Recipe Notes

Tastes great with shredded cabbage!

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I’d love to know that you think of this supper dish and if you are a fan of butternut squash.

the best butternut squash recipe

If you like easy, delicious recipes then I think you will love my Easy Focaccia Bread. Try these two together and wow your friends and family.

the best butternut squash recipe

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Things that make you go eerrgh!

This was a post I wasn’t going to write, I had no intention to put my fingers to the keyboard and spell out the continuation of my throat saga. If you remember my poem The Silence that was the start of my throat problems and I had hoped it would all be done and dusted by now.

But no, a couple of months ago I sat here writing looking like this:

Things that make you go eerrgh!

I had to go and have an 24hr PH test. The tube goes down my throat and sits down in my oesophagus. For 24hrs this had to stay there doing it’s thing and measures the amount of acid that wells up (refluxes) from your stomach into your oesophagus, and helps to find out if your symptoms are caused by acid reflux which is the flow of the stomach contents back into the oesophagus. It sounds strange and it is but the effect on my throat so far has been so painful and sore that I had become desperate to find out the cause. The tube, as you can see on the picture runs out of the nose and is taped to the side of my face and leads down to a contraption which records all of the data.

What you can’t see is that when I opened my mouth you can see the white coated tube running down the back of my throat, it’s bizarre! That’s why I had to entitle this post; Things that make you go eerrgh! There’s nothing I like less than seeing other peoples medical bits and bobs.

Probably one of the biggest fears I had to conquer was actually having the tube threaded up my nose and down my throat. It just goes against every natural instinct in my body. Suffice to say I gagged, put up my hand like the nice doctor said I could if it got too much and we all stood there not moving until I had the balls to motion to carry on. It’s horrendous and I couldn’t really get over that fact. I’m a whimp and it was clear to see.
via GIPHY

After some dramatics and copious amounts of tears coming out of my eyes due to the effect of gagging and the feeling on my nose, it was finally down and sitting in the right place inside of me.

Things that make you go eerrgh!
A little anatomy lesson!

Here you can see that there’s quite a long piece of tube needed to go down and dangle there catching the data. It stops just before the sphincter. When I ate I had to push the relevant buttons on my little hip pack to show that I was eating or drinking. This would be transferred to the printout when it came the following day so that it reflected the correct results. The same for if I laid down to sleep. If I had any of the symptoms then I could record that too. Acid feelings and those sorts of things would show up by way of an electro mark and all add to what they could find out. The doctor could see that I was not at all comfortable with it being there and although it should be in for 24hrs I asked what the minimum was. Reluctantly he said to try to get past 4hrs. It was like that statement sparked off a mental countdown timer in my head that I didn’t even know I had.

By the time it got to the early hours of the morning I was so freaked by the feeling of it going down the back of my throat that I took it out myself. Really strange feeling. I took a deep breath and gently peeled off the cotton sticky plasters holding the tube in place around my nose. Then, really really carefully and nice and slow, I started to pull the tube out of my nose. Mind over matter had to come into play once again. Finally after a few seconds which felt a hell of a lot longer, the ends of the tubes came out of my nose. What a feeling that was, I gave a little whoop of joy and was immensely relieved that it had come out so smoothly and was over and done with.

I had the best couple of hours sleep ever after that! So pleased that it was behind me. It seems like a natural end to this particular post. I’ll do another update soon and let you know how it’s all going. Thank goodness it’s done for the time being though.

Have you ever had to have one of these procedures or anything similar, come on, let’s share some stories!

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