sleep

Getting the Best Night’s Sleep #SleepExperts

SleepSleep is a massively varying issue in our house; Husband is an insomniac (as in a proper, can’t sleep for days at a time insomniac) whereas as it’s a running joke in our house about how easily I fall asleep. I once fell asleep STANDING UP and almost broke my neck by falling backwards like a felled tree and catching myself at the last second. The girls seem to fall somewhere in the middle; Sausage fights sleep every single night and stubbornly forces herself awake for as long as possible, whereas Burrito Baby is a dormouse like Mummy and falls asleep with ease most nights…unless she’s napped late and then she can sit awake, sometimes until 2am! Zzzzz…..

Getting a GOOD night’s sleep is actually really different to be able to FALL asleep though and many mornings I’ll wake up not feeling very rested at all. I think I have mild sleep apnoea (based on how loudly I snore most nights and the fact that my friends used to be terrified at sleepovers because I’d take one big breath and then not breathe again for about a minute, I’d say it’s pretty certain) which obviously interrupts the actual quality of my sleep. I’ve also noticed that since I upped my exercise schedule, I’m far more tired every day just because I’m physically doing so much more.

The guys at Adjustamatic have been doing a load of research into getting a good night’s sleep and their #SleepExperts have put together some advice for everyone to follow. Watch the video to find out more:

I actually LOVE the idea of an adjustable bed; Husband and I often say that we should get two single beds and push them together because he prefers a hard mattress and I like something with a little bit of cushion. He’s a light sleeper and I turn over with a LOT of gusto, which often wakes him up. He likes a bit of hip support whereas I need my neck and shoulders a bit more propped up. We’re compatible in marriage a lot more than we are in sleep, it seems!

I must admit, I also quite often end up in bed with Burrito Baby – we’ve co-slept pretty regulalry since she was born and she’ll still call out for me most nights and it’s easier for me to just go and slip in with her. She’s sleeps in the bottom bunk and she’s still absolutely tiny for a three year old so I get plenty of space, lots of snuggles and she never complains about my snoring 😉

Do you share your bed with a Husband, Wife, partner or co-sleeping child? Have you ever considered single beds, pushed together as one big bed?! Would you benefit from an adjustable bed? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please do leave me a comment below!

 

Holidays

Can You Be A Tourist In Your Own City?

Source

While the idea of a summer holiday may be the thing that keeps most of us going for much of the year, sometimes, it’s just not feasible. It might be a financial concern or just not being able to justify the time off work, but the fact remains: this year, you’re staying home.

This doesn’t mean that you have to abandon all plans for a little fun and exploration, though. In fact, it gives you the perfect opportunity to be a tourist in the most unique way: touring your home city.

How Much Of Your City Do You Really Know?

Do you know –

  • The local history of your city? How it came to be founded, how it’s changed, how it’s adapted as the world has altered around it?
  • The best bars, restaurants, museums, places to go and things to experience?

Have you ever:

  • Spent a day just wandering around your city for no specific purpose? You have no errands to run, no one you have to rush off and meet, no specific time you have to go home. Just wandering around, exploring hidden back streets, browsing in shop windows?
  • Sat in a coffee shop for hours on end for no real purpose enjoying the feel of being out and about?
  • Ventured on a day trip within a few hours of your city to a local site of interest, be it historical, a theme park, or just an experience day?

If you’re anything like the rest of the populace, then chances are, you haven’t done any of those things. You’re too busy being bogged down in the minutiae of your usual life. You don’t browse; you go for a specific purpose. As for sitting down for a coffee and soaking up the ambiance – why would you do that in public when you can get go home and do it?

The interesting thing is that all of the above have one thing in common:

You’d Do Them On Holiday

Think about it: if you travelled to a foreign country, you’d think the above were a great way of spending your time. You’d explore, take your time, wander with no specific destination in mind. You’d soak up the local history, for sure – in fact, you might know more about the history of a foreign city than the place where you live!

So Why Not Be A Tourist At Home?

If you can’t get away for a full holiday this summer, then being a tourist without leaving your own city is the perfect solution. It’s also full of benefits that can make visiting a foreign land a pain. For example, you can go home to a bed you know you’re going to like rather than putting up with a poor hotel mattress; you can buy a scooter to explore on, rather than paying the extortionate rental fees; and you already know the language so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

While it might not be the summer holiday of your dreams, that doesn’t mean spending a summer truly exploring your home city can’t have its advantages as well. Every city has a story to tell – isn’t it about time you listened?

Pets

Best Locations to Have a Holiday with Your Dog

Many pet owners don’t want to leave their pets behind when they go on holiday, whether that is somewhere close to home, or a little bit farther. Dog friendly holidays are becoming increasingly more popular, and even if you want to get some sun in a hotter climate, there are some great options for places to go, as well as reasonably priced companies offering all the help you need to ship dogs to your holiday destination, safely and happily. Here are some of the best holiday locations for you and your dog:

England

England’s quarantine laws have recently been lifted, allowing for free travel for dogs from most countries. This is ideal as England is one of the most dog-friendly places, with plenty to see for humans and their furry friends. The country and the cities are great for walking- something your dog is sure to enjoy. And it is not often that you can take your dog to see truly historical features like those on offer in England.

Greece

What dog doesn’t want to spend all day at the beach? In fact, you might argue that dogs usually have more fun than their human counterparts. Greece offers plenty of beaches, where you and your dog can enjoy in equal parts. If you go in the spring, your dog will be most happy as temperatures won’t be too high for them, and if they are, most places have air conditioning, so you are set!

Switzerland

The rules for dog travel to Switzerland are indeed lax, allowing easy entry for you and your dog. This spans to their use of public transportation as well, making it easy for you and your dog to catch a plan, train, or boat. Small dogs can even travel for free! As an added bonus, most restaurants in Switzerland even let your dog dine with you! A true dog haven!

Spain

Spain can be an extremely relaxing trip for you and your pup. Laying by the pool, catching some sun rays, all of this is extremely appealing when traveling with your puppy. Spain in general is pretty laid back. This makes taking your dog with you anywhere very easy. The largest cities in Spain even have specialized dog exercise and toilet areas. This is ideal when spending the day sight seeing. Just make sure you don’t let your dog get overheated in the Spanish sunshine!

It is important for dog owners to do all the necessary research before going on the holiday of their dreams. This includes checking what your pet needs to have (passport, vaccinations, etc.), talking to your vet for advice, and ensuring that not just the place you are sleeping is dog friendly, but that there are also local things to do with your dog that you can both enjoy and that you are both welcome in.

Family · Home

What To Look For When Moving to a Rented Property

rented propertyI’ve mentioned before that Husband and I have lived in rented property for our whole adult lives and in fact, since we’ve been together we’ve actually lived in EIGHT different properties in 11 and a half years! We’ve seen a LOT of properties, ranging from flats to houses to bungalows, both old and new, when searching for properties to move to and I think it’s given us a pretty good level of expertise when it comes to weeding out the bad ones. Here’s a few of the things we look out for when viewing a property:

Damp

It’s a fact that lots of properties have a problem with damp and it can be really tricky to live with. Husband and I have moved out of a home we LOVED before because the damp was up to the dado rail in one room and the walls were totally black. The landlord was unwilling to deal with it, so we had no choice but to move. Signs of damp when you view a house are obviously the smell, which is usually the first thing to hit you. Bubbling wallpaper and black marks in corners or behind furniture are also a sure sign. Some landlords try to hide damp by painting over it but it will ALWAYS come back through and will not only look bad but can cause lung complaints and illness.

Appliances

Before we moved into the house we’re in now, we moved to a house which boasted fitted appliance, so we sold all of our high-quality appliances and used the fitted ones. Within a matter of weeks, the cooker, dishwasher and washing machine ALL broke and we hadn’t realised that it was our responsibility to replace them. Check first whether the landlord is retaining ownership of any fitted appliances or you could end up with a lot of expense on your hands right after moving.

Electrics

Okay, this is obviously a tough one because you probably aren’t an electrician and won’t be doing a detailed check, however, somethings are obvious. Husband and I once viewed a flat which has no plug sockets in the bedroom, so the owner had drilled the whole way through the wall, plugged a hopper into the loung and routed it through the wall to be used in the bedroom. I cannot even begin to imagine how much of a fire hazard that must have been!

Noise

Letting agents are really clever about when they will show a house which is in a potentially noisy spot. Our last house was on a bus route and after moving in we discovered that the “double glazing” was totally shot and didn’t keep out any sound at all, but we viewed the property early on a Saturday morning when no buses were due and traffic was at a minimum. If you’re concerned about noise, always try to book a viewing when the surrounding area is at it’s busiest.

Neighbours

Listen, I don’t mean to sound like a snob because quite frankly, I don’t give a hoot what anyone else does in their own home. However, if you’re the sort of person who values quiet and solitude above all else then moving in a house where you’re flanked by young families, sharers or students probably isn’t the best bet for you. Try to assess the neighbourhood because even if you fall in love with a house, the surrounding area just might not suit you.

 

Pets

Taking Care of an Elderly Pet

One thing that we’ve come to realise now that Chuck is older is that taking care of an elderly dog is vastly different to caring for a younger one. His drives have completely changed now that he’s an old man (he’s the equivalent of around 80 years old in human years) and we’ve had to make some changes to accomodate him and keep him healthy for as long as possible. Here’s some of the things you might want to consider if you have an elderly pet:

Mobility

Just like with old people, old pets can struggle with mobility. Chuck used to race up and down the stairs with ease, walk for hours and think nothing of jumping up and down onto the bed or sofa to snuggle with us. Now, he’s a lot less mobile, so we’ve placed water bowls both up and downstairs so that he never has to go too far for a drink and we’re also looking into getting some pet steps so that he can get up onto the bed without having to jump.

Diet

This one is a double-edge sword. Now that he’s less mobile, he doesn’t exercise as much and therefore doesn’t need to eat as much. However, since his drives have turned away from procreation, they’ve turned firmly towards food so he acts like he’s hungry MOST of the time! We’re careful to limit table scraps and have moved him onto a diet which is best for senior dogs which gives him the nutrients he needs with fewer calories so that he doesn’t get fat!

Exercise

We know for a fact that he’s suffering with heart problems and suspect that he had a heart attack sometime last year. This means that the dog who used to walk for literally hours now barely makes it 800m. We’ve decided that we allow him to completely dictate how far he wants to go; on days when he’s not feeling it, we leave him be or let him have a little plod to the end of the road and back, but if he seems pretty spritely we let him dictate the pace and distance and it seems to be working pretty well.

Vet Care

Some pet owners are lucky to rarely ever need to take their pet to the vet, but once they get older it’s vital to get at least a check-up. Chuck takes a variety of medications for his heart and an anti-inflammatory for his joints which means that he gets to live out his old age with minimum pain or discomfort. If you’re worried about vets bills, the PDSA offers treatment if you’re in receipt of benefits, so it might be worth having a look if you have an elderly pet.

Temperament

We’re incredibly lucky in the respect that Chuck is an amazingly wellbehaved dog with our kids and is soft and loving with them. However, now that he’s old and struggling with stiffness etc. we make a point to make sure that the kids aren’t too rough with him and give him plenty of space. We trust him completely but it would be heartbreaking for him to get hurt or feel overwhelmed and lose his cool with one of them. We don’t think for a second it would happen but it protects ALL THREE OF THEM if we remove the risk altogether.

Do you have an elderly pet? Have you found any new challenges have arisen since they’ve got older? I’d love to hear from you.