3 Ways To Ensure You Have Fun With Your Family This Summer

When it comes to summer time, a lot of parents often start to feel as though there is a lot of pressure on them to engage in as many activities as possible and have as much fun as possible. While it is certainly true that you probably want to be fairly active in the warmer months, and your children will want to too, that pressure is misguided. You should not feel that you have to fill every waking moment with something new and exciting, though of course doing so as much as possible is no bad idea. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things that you might want to do to make sure that you can have some fun with your family this summer. As long as you consider these, you should find that is much simpler to make a reality.

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Get The Finances Sorted

The financial side of things is hugely important, and you need to make sure that you are going to sort this out first if you hope to have plenty of fun over the holidays. For those activities which require a fair amount of money, you should budget for them as early as you can, so that you know you are going to be able to do it without causing yourself any trouble. But you should also make sure that you are filling your time with as many no-spend activities as you possibly can, of which there are plenty. This LittleLoans article will show you some of the better things that you can hope to do without spending any money, and these are going to be a great place to start if that is what you are looking for.

Plan Together

It’s important when you are planning your summer out that you take on board the opinions of everyone who is going to be involved, otherwise you might not find that you are going to all have as much fun as you would hope. At the very least, you need to know that everyone is happy taking part in something, and if not then you might need to change your plans somewhat. By planning together in this way, you ensure that you maximize the fun for all, and that is important if you hope for your family to be truly happy during the summer months and beyond.

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Keep Your Spirits Up

We all know how easy it can be for family activities to descend into arguments. Because of how often that can happen, it is essential to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to keep your spirits up – and the spirits of all the other people in your family. If you can do that, then it will make for a much better time between you all, and that will mean that you are going to be able to enjoy your summer much more together. You might even feel that you get a little closer than you have before, which can be especially enjoyable to know.

How To Spray Tan At Home

Spray tan products and kits have been popping up all over the market. These beauty products have made it possible to get a sunkissed glow at home. If you can’t afford weekly tanning sessions or if you don’t feel comfortable stripping down in public, then the next best solution is to buy spray tanner. If you apply it properly, then you’ll leave your home with a beautiful glow that complements your summer wardrobe. Here are some must-have tips for using spray tanner.

1. Designate a Spray Tanning Room

You should choose an area in your home that you’ll want to hold your spray tan sessions. This should be a space that doesn’t have all-white walls and flooring. A DIY spray tan can quickly become a mess if you’re not well-prepared.

Keep dark towels around in case of accidents, mistakes, or spills. You should also keep in mind that your spray tan can stain the ceiling, floors, tiles, walls, and other areas of your room. You’ll want to reserve this room for spray tanning sessions, rather than just choosing a different room each time. This reduces accidents and makes you more prepared for this messy process.

2. Exfoliate & Prepare Your Skin

The next thing you should do is exfoliate and prepare your skin. Even some of the best spray tans can appear splotchy if you don’t scrub your skin beforehand. The key is to find an exfoliator or scrub that doesn’t contain oils. The oils in most of these products can prevent your tan from sticking.

Remove deodorants and fragrance before applying your self-tanner. This could react with your tan and cause you to turn green rather than bronzed. It’s best to shower beforehand, in which you’ll also exfoliate and prepare your skin. You’ll want to pay extra attention to dry areas, such as your elbows, heels, and knees.

If you have long hair, then you’ll want to pull it back into a ponytail. Then wear a shower cap to keep your hair in place during your spray tan session. You should also apply moisturizer to your eyebrows to prevent them from turning orange. When applying the spray tanner to the driest areas of your body, you’ll want to apply a thin layer or the remaining product into your elbows, feet, hands, and heels.

3. Practice a Spray Tanning Session

If you’re new to spray tanning or self-tanning in general, it’s best to start with a practice session. You can practice as often as you want so you can feel comfortable with the self-tanning experience. You’ll want to use an easy, no-commitment self-tanner for your first time. The best kind of product to practice with is a one-day or wash-off spray tanner.

This allows you to get a better idea of what self-tanner looks like on your skin and you can perfect your self-tanning technique. If you don’t want to get too dark, then you’ll want to use a gradual spray-on tanner. Or, you can use any old spray tanner and wash it off before the color develops. It appears lighter than usual and prevents mistakes from happening.

4. Use the Right Tools

While most spray tans come in a single bottle, there are others that come as part of a kit. They include all of the tools you need to get the perfect tan. Some spray-on tanners include a wide variety of products such as exfoliator, a tanning mitt, moisturizer, and additional spray-on tanners for the face, body, and hard-to-reach areas. Some even come with towelettes to quickly correct or remove mistakes before your tan sets in.

5. Apply the Tanner Evenly

Even though you’re applying spray tanner to your body, you still need to wear gloves or a mitt to avoid getting the product on your hands. Your body should be completely dry before use spray-on tanner so you can prevent streaks from happening. Hold the spray tanner eight inches away from your body while spraying. You can also enlist the help of a close friend or family member to spray the tanner onto hard-to-reach areas, such as your back.

6. Self-Tan Your Face & Hands Last

Your goal should be to apply the spray tan lightly on your face. Don’t apply too much product on your face since the color appears darker on there than other areas of your body. You also don’t want to spray it directly to your face. Instead, spray the self-tanner to different areas of your face and body or where the sun naturally hits your skin.

Your face and hands should be the last resort. Just make sure to apply the tanner evenly to both of these parts. You don’t want to be generous when it comes to these areas. Avoid applying excess product on your arms, face, and hands. Another reason not to spray directly to these areas is because it always looks streaky and fake.

7. Don’t Fear If You Make a Mistake

Mistakes are common — especially when you’re spray tanning for the first time. If you notice orange spots, streaks, or dry patches, don’t give up hope yet. There are several ways to correct these mistakes.

One way is to apply body oil and leave it on for 10 minutes, then scrub it off with a hot washcloth. Hair removal cream is another effective method, but it’s not ideal for sensitive skin types.

Apply the hair removal cream to the area with a Q-Tip and leave it on as recommended. Or, if you find that your spray tanning kit comes with tan remover, then apply it and leave it on for a minute before removing it with a hot washcloth.

If you don’t have any of these products lying around your house, then your next bet is to look in your refrigerator. Combine ice water with lemon juice and soak a washcloth in it. Then warm the washcloth in the microwave for less than 60 seconds, allow it to cool, and gently rub it over those areas where you have too much tanner.

These tips should prevent you from making self-tanning mistakes with a spray tan. Over time, you’ll become a professional and your friends will be asking for your help.

A Mum’s Guide To Staying Safe On The Roads

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Dear mums,

You don’t need us to tell you how important safety is when it comes to your children. Especially when you’re out on the roads where the risk of an accident could be high, you do need to take care. With this in mind, here is our safety guide. Read it, heed it, and take the appropriate steps to keep your children safe!

1. Replace your car (if you need to)

Replacing your car might not be your preferred option, especially considering the stress and expense involved when buying something new, but if your car is more than ten years old, or is showing signs of wear and tear, then for your children’s safety, you might want to consider an upgrade. Newer cars come equipped with modern safety features such as rear-facing cameras (useful for when you need to check on your kids in the back), emergency braking systems, and crumple zones that can minimise the damage caused to you and your little ones in the event of an accident. You don’t have to buy the newest car on the market of course (unless you can afford it), as you can still buy something reasonably up to date even though it’s second hand. Be sure to buy from a reputable used car dealer akin to Century Cars, however, as you need the peace of mind that you are buying a car that is fit to drive and not likely to break down soon after leaving the dealership.

2. Keep your car maintained

To alleviate the risk of any accidents on the road, you do need to look after your car. And while there are some maintenance jobs you can do yourself; you should still take your car to the garage every so often to make sure everything is working as it should. We appreciate there might be an expense, but when it comes to the safety of your children, they should be the priority over any cost that might be incurred at the garage.

3. Be mindful of distractions

Your biggest distractions are probably your children. When they kick up a fuss in the back seat with temper tantrums and those blessed words “I’m bored,” you could easily take your eyes off the road, and that could lead to an accident. If they do start to create a fuss, you should pull over when it is safe to do so to sort out any problems. However, you might also want to read this article on keeping your children entertained, as there are plenty of ideas within to focus your children’s attention in the car. Your other biggest distraction will be your phone. When a text comes in or if you receive a phone call, you might be tempted to take one hand off the wheel to grab your mobile. DON’T!! Install a hands-free system in your car if you need to take calls, but otherwise, turn off your phone when you’re driving so you will be less prone to distractions.

4.  Don’t drive when you’re tired

You don’t need us to tell you how exhausting it is being a mum. With much to do in the day and chances of reduced sleep if your kids keep you awake at night, you might find yourself running on empty! It’s something many of us get used to, but when it comes to driving, you need to be mindful. While you might not fall asleep at the wheel, you might still make some mistakes if your concentration drops because of your tired state. Therefore, resist the urge to get in the car if you don’t have the energy. When it comes to the school run, walk the kids to school or get a taxi, and consider the same for any other journey you need to make. Then, to give yourself a fighting chance of getting some decent shut-eye, follow this sleep guide and commit to other research online for tips to help you.

And so…

Make safety your #1 priority. Follow our suggestions in this article, and then look for other ideas online to keep you and your little ones safe when you’re out in the car. And if you have any other tips for our readers, do the right thing, and remind us of them in the comments section below.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

Giving Your Driveway Some Inspiration for Summer

These days, everyone wants a modern driveway. As times have moved on, the quality finish of these areas has developed alongside the vehicles they hold. Now they’re better than ever before.

Still, while car sales are falling nationwide, this doesn’t mean that everyone with a car wants to scrap or store away their own vehicles! When enough time has passed, the driveway needs a rejig.

Consequently, here’s how to give your driveway some inspiration for summer.

Drivegrid

One of the problems with the gravel driveway is that they can get very messy, very fast. However, the drivegrid was specially designed to maintain a sustainable gravel driveway. The grid uses cells to contain high quantities of angular gravel and can be filled with an impressive 5-16mm of the stuff. Therefore, the driveway will always look in good order and not scarce on stones!

It’s also practical, in that it inhibits weed growth as all good driveways should, with no sudden greenery sprouting from underneath or destabilising the finish. Each individual cell in the grid also allows a smooth running of rainwater, so you don’t have to worry about the gravel-filled grid clogging up in a summer storm. It’ll unnoticeably flow into the ground below, and your pristine gravel finish will remain intact.

Block paving

For a more solid, sturdy and robust result, block paving is likely the option you should go for. You can get 60mm blocks that better fit with the exterior aesthetic of your home due to their colour scheme; such as charcoal, bracken or red. This will give the perimeter of your home a more consistent look, or even a Mediterranean appearance depending on the colours chosen. Some even spruce up their designs further, incorporating blocks to form grey circles within too. If appearances matter to you, block paving is your best bet!

However, block paving also doubles up in a practical sense too. This is because it also acts as a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) that complies with new government legislation on keeping driveways clear, safe and efficiently balanced. If you love your summers to be relaxed and care-free (and who doesn’t?) in every regard, then block paving has you covered in the driveway department.

Security placements

Sometimes, the summer brings more than just heatwaves, but crime waves too. There’ve been reported links between summer time and crime, so it could be that you want to keep your driveway on lockdown, especially during the warmer seasons. It’s understandable and even advisable!

For example, you could erect security posts along the perimeter of your drive. They operate in a similar way to bollards in a town centre, deterring people from driving down certain avenues and streets. In your own driveway, they’ll stop car thieves from whizzing away with your vehicles and may deter thieves entirely. Who needs a gate worth thousands of pounds?

Conclusion

Summer is an aesthetic, but equal consideration must be paid to security too. After all, while people like their driveway paving to look appealing and immaculate in all its glory, it’s also important to have a practical frame of mind too. In taking that balance seriously, an excellent summer driveway is assured.

Who Would You Share Your Crisps With? #MustBeWalkers

Who Would You Share Your Crisps With?! Picture the scene – it’s 1996. Euro ’96 is in full swing. Neon clothes and Adidas tracksuits are all the rage, and a group of feisty women called “Spice Girls” are topping the charts with their high-kicking, zig-a-zig-ahh-ing hit ‘Wannabe’. The whole world is thinking about whether David Beckham is going to score, both on the pitch and off with Posh Spice.

It’s the summer between year 7 and year 8, and with a year of senior school under my belt, I think I know everything there is to know about being a grown up. My Nan and Grandad had moved to Lowestoft, but brought their caravan to a site in Essex for the summer, where we’d visit them and spend the day playing outside the caravan. I remember vividly asking if we could listen to the chart show on the radio and dancing to Wannabe with my cousin Laurie, each choosing a Spice Girl to emulate (if I remember rightly it was Baby for me and Sporty for Laurie!).

Nan always made the BEST picnics whenever we went on days out together- homemade ham rolls, cartons of Um Bongo and she’d only ever pack Walkers Crisps. She had very high standards, my Nanny Rene!

Spice Girls music evoke a lot of memories of my early teenage year and this day is one of my favourites. I can’t quite believe that was 23 year ago, and now that my grandparents are no longer with us, it’s all the more precious.

Spice Girls have teamed up with Walkers Crisps, 22 years after the first time, to create a new advert, which you can see here:

Despite his love of Walkers, the Spice Girls superfan jut cannot bring himself to share his crisps. I won’t lie; I’d find it hard to share them too! Aside from the people I love, there are very few people in the world who’d get my Walkers. Here are a few of them:

Jeremy Corbyn

We all know how much I love our Jez, so I’d definitely share my crisps with him, and luckily enough almost all of the Walkers flavours are suitable for vegetarians, so I wouldn’t need to worry about him not eating meat.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu is basically the coolest guy on the planet. As a family, we have a huge fondness for Keanu and he definitely deserves to share my Walkers!

Helen Sharman

Helen was the first British astronaut and the first woman in space. She’s got honorary doctorates from no fewer than 11 universities and she’s a HUGE inspiration to females, especially in the STEM fields. Plus, I bet you can’t get any decent crisps in space!

Who Would You Share Your Crisps With?!

Walkers is looking for a GENUINE Spice Girls superfan – The campaign will run on TV and digital throughout the summer schedule from 2nd June until the 21st July 2019. Check out some of the top entries we from the challenge leading up to the ad premier. For more information visit www.walkers.co.uk/besteverfan.

Here’s How You Secure Your Child’s Financial Future

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We all want our children to grow up and do well in life, and sometimes it’s possible to give them a helping hand with this. For instance, you could help them with their education to make sure that they get a head start. Read to them as often as possible when they are young and encourage them to always do their homework to a good standard once they start to go to school. It’s also worth spending time working on their social skills so that they can grow up into well-rounded and confident individuals. For instance, you might want to sign them up for nursery from an early age or arrange lots of play dates with your friends and relatives who also have children of a similar age.

Of course, it will also pay off if you help your children with finances.

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Start Saving For Them As Soon As They Are Born

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your children have a bright financial future is to start saving some money for them on a regular basis. You don’t have to save too much, but you might be surprised that even a very small amount could quickly add up for your kids. If you just save £10 for them every month from their birth to their eighteenth birthday, then you will be able to save £2160 for them. If you place these savings into a high-interest savings account, then they will also get quite a bit of interest paid onto them over the years, which should help the pot of cash grow even more. You will be allowed to open a bank account for a child as soon as they are born, and it really is something you should think about.

Take Out Some Life Insurance

It’s also a really good idea to take out some life insurance for yourself and your partner. This will help to protect both of your incomes should anything happen to you. For instance, if one of you were to suddenly pass away, then the life insurance will then pay out every month to replace all or part of the monthly income that was being brought into the family. This way, your family wouldn’t also have to deal with any money issues while they were grieving and dealing with the loss.

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Write Your Will

haven’t already, you should also think about making a will. It may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it will be super beneficial for your family. In the will, you will state how you want your money and estate divided up between your loved ones in the event of your death. For instance, you can say that you want your money split up equally between your partner and your children. You can also state who will inherit any property that you own. The will will make it a lot easier for everyone once you do pass away. They won’t be able to argue the terms of the will, so there won’t be any debate regarding who gets what. Not only that, though, but it also ensures that your children get what you want them to, as no one will be able to state any claim to what they are due to inherit.

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Think About The Potential Cost Of University

There’s a chance that your kids might want to go university to get a good education in order to further their careers. This is a really good path for them to take, however it can be really expensive. The cost of university has been gradually increasing for the past decade or so, and there is no sign that it will be reduced anytime soon. So, this is going to be an expense that you will need to prepare for. If you can afford to, it’s worth saving up for it as soon your kids are born. You could start a separate savings account for your child alongside one for general savings. This could be a good idea even if your kids decide to not go to university after all – at least they will still have these savings that they could put towards a house deposit or their first car.

Talk To Your Children About Money From An Early Age

As well as making all of these financial preparations for your children, it’s also a good idea to be open with your discussions about money. You should explain why it is so important to save as much money as possible. It’s also necessary to teach them the concept of interest so that they know to always look for the bank accounts that will offer them the best interest rates. Make sure that you talk to your children about various financial products as well, such as loans, credit cards, and investment opportunities.

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Avoid Loans And Credit Cards

You should talk to your children about loans and credit cards so that they are aware of them, but it’s best to try to discourage them from using them once they become financially independent. If they do start to use these kinds of products, they will be a lot more likely to end up accidentally sliding into debt and with huge bills to pay. So, make sure that your kids are aware of the fact that there are some financial products that they need to be wary of.

Give Them A Piggy Bank

Piggy banks may seem quite old fashioned these days, but they are a great resource when you need to teach your kids about the basics of money. They will be able to save up any change that they are given. Eventually, if they leave it for long enough, they will have a nice little pot of money to use however they want. By doing this, it’s a great way to show them just how useful saving money can be.

As you can see, teaching your kids about the basics of good money management can be incredibly easy. This should help secure their financial futures!

 

Help Your Schools to Get Out and Grow!

Here at Mum’s the Word, we’ve been long-time supporters of the Get Out and Grow campaign, pioneered by Sudocrem, in association with Greenfingers charity and Cliffton Nurseries, with the goal of getting children out of the house and into the garden. They sent us some facts which are, quite frankly, a little bit sad..

Despite the fact that 87% of British households have a garden, over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in them and 95% were unable to name 3 herbs. Many of those couldn’t identify gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worrying, 79% believing worms are bad for plants. 

73% of those asked said they had never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple, which perhaps explains why they’re unable to name even one. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod. Based on this evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that only 20% have ever eaten a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.

Sudocrem is now expanding the initiative to include schools, based on the figures that 90% of children said that they would like a garden at school and at one primary school in Lincolnshire, a school garden made all the difference when it came to pupil’s behaviour.

The Benjamin Adlard Primary School, run by headmaster Sam Coy, was previously rated by Ofsted as one of Britain’s worst schools. Four years and one school garden later, and the Gainsborough school has won the national Pearson award for School of the Year: Making a Difference.

Headmaster Coy insists: “The children absolutely love den-building, just generally getting dirty and nature hunts. One child recently told me that he loves going to the forest school on a Tuesday afternoon so much as it helps him to behave all week as he never wants to not be able to go.”

We’re absolutely delighted that Sudocrem is offering people the chance to nominate schools which they think could benefit from their very own gardening kits, and they’ve asked Mum’s the Word to be an ambassador for the project.

All you need to do is comment below the name of the school you wish to nominate and why you think they deserve one of the kits, comprising of gloves, spades, wheelbarrow and much more to get the school’s garden into full bloom. The kits are worth £160, but having the tools to get outside could be worth SO much more to the kids of the school you nominate.

Leave your comment by Sunday 9th of June and we could have the kit sent to the winning school before the summer holiday begin.

(Winner will be chosen by me, prizes will be provided by Satellite PR and sent straight to the winning school, no monetary alternative will be offered, all decisions are final)

Glazed or Not? Which internal doors are better

Door styles have come a long way over the years, and this versatility and variety have come as a result of the needs of homeowners across the world. Interior designs are different, and homes now have a lot of different themes as well. Keeping with this variety, two types of doors have taken the market by storm and are the most common choices for homeowners, especially for their internal doors. These are glazed and unglazed doors. Another factor to think about is whether or not you want the door to lock or not. Many people like to have locks on certain doors like bathrooms and get a company such as Fast keys to install it.

The choice of door style that will work best for your home depends mainly on the interior design of the house, the architecture and style of the home, and what the owners want from the home design of course. A glazed door offers a lot of different qualities than an unglazed door and determining which one to buy depends on which qualities work best with your home. Here is a short and comprehensive guide on which door will work best for your home.

A glazed door is often considered to be a bit more modern in its design and style and is commonly used by those that want their internal doors to appear and feel light instead of traditional and heavy. They can be used in kitchens, living rooms, and all kinds of hallways to add in more light to the house and to ensure that the different parts of the house are not closed off from each other. They can, however, only be used in parts of the house that do not have issues with privacy. They can primarily be used in darker corners of the house to add more light to those areas without having to install extra artificial lighting sources such as bulbs. These doors are also customizable in terms of how much glazing is needed. You can have entirely internal glazed doors with large panes of glass or medium or half internal glazed doors that have smaller glass panes and offer a bit more privacy from shops like Online Door Store. Internal glazed doors are great for homes that need the extra light and for individuals that can afford to invest in internal doors that are slightly costly.

Unglazed doors, as the name suggests, are doors without the glazing. They do not have large glass panes to add and bring in extra light into the home. It is possible to use any cut-out space to add glass, but it is up to the homeowner to do so themselves. These doors are considerably cheaper than glazed doors, so these are great options for individuals on a budget. If glass panes must be added to these unglazed doors to turn them into internal glazed doors, then this can be done on a budget by reusing old glazing or finding affordable glass panes on your own. Unglazed doors, for that very reason, are great for homes that do not absolutely require a lot of extra light being brought in, and by individuals that may be on a tighter budget.

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

The Importance of Family Dental Hygiene

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Just recently, all four of us had our yearly check up at the dentist. Husband and I were given the thumbs up by our dentist, who said we’re obviously taking good care of our teeth and practising proper dental hygiene, but he had a few notes for the girls.

Sausage needed to include her gums when she’s brushing, because her gums bled slightly when the dentist prodded at them (something they don’t want to see) and BB was told she’s doing a good job but she needed to make sure she’s including her whole mouth when she brushes, not just at the front. He also said it would be a good idea to visit an orthodontic clinic in the net few months as Sausage is getting to the age where a decision about braces can be made.

A lot of people don’t realise, but poor dental hygiene can actually lead to a whole load of other health problems, not all of which will be in your mouth – it can even put you at risk of a heart attack. Here are some serious health problems, from the NHS website, which can start with poor dental hygiene:

  • Gum disease dangers

    Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

    What’s the damage?

    Gum disease has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including:

    • heart disease and heart attacks
    • diabetes and its control
    • stroke
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

So how do we get kids to take their dental health seriously? Obviously we don’t want to scare them with tales of heart disease and diabetes, but impressing upon them how important it is to keep their mouths in good shape can be the difference between a life of good health and serious ongoing issues. 

Start As You Mean to Go On

Establishing a good routine from an early age is essential to getting kids to see tooth brushing as part of their daily activities. You can start brushing teeth as soon as they erupt, using a special baby toothbrush with no paste. Help them to make a game of brushing by doing it to music and letting baby have a go of doing it themselves. If they see tooth brushing as fun, they’re far more likely to want to do it.

Get An App

There are loads of apps out there which have built-in timers to ensure kids brush for the correct amount of time and also often have fun songs or animations which your kids can brush along with. Have a look in your device’s app store to find one suitable for you.

Offer a Reward

Giving your child a reward for brushing should be a regular item in a parent’s arsenal, but the reward that works best will depend on your child’s age and interests. Someone under the age of eight, for example, may be receptive to a funny bedtime story before lights out – but only after he brushes. For an older child, a good reward might be letting him watch an episode of a favourite TV show between brushing and bed.

Remember, good dental hygiene doesn’t just happen in the bathroom – what they eat and drink can also be a contributing factor. People are mostly aware that fizzy drinks and sugary sweets are an issue, but a lot of people fail to remember that fruit and milk also have high sugar and acid contents, which can also attack the enamel of teeth.

If your kids eat fruit or drink milk, make sure they clean their teeth afterwards and try to give only water before bed as the lack of saliva  in the mouth during sleep means that it’s even easier for the tooth decay to occur.