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Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for Kids

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for KidsIf you know us, you’ll know that we’re a family animal lovers. Husband and I got Chuck in 2006, just a couple of months after we got married and he wa a huge part of our lives for 13 years. We’ve had other pets over the years, too – Happy the hamster, Maureen our Staff-Frenchie-Boxer cross, Bagel and Biscuit the budgies, plus various dogs we’ve fostered over the years.

We’re huge believers that pets make a home complete and that it’s great for kids to have pets too, as it teaches them responsibility…even if it is always be cleaning out Bagel’s cage instead of Sausage! With this in mind, I thought I’d share some reasons that dogs are great pets for kids (and why investing in scratch-proof flooring is a good idea if you want one!)

Bonding

Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these simple but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.

Exercise

Having a dog means that you have to go for walks. Come rain or shine, dog need exercise, no excuses. You have to remember, that as well as for their physical health, dogs need exercise for their mental health. When they’re at home, they can’t sit and read a book or watch the TV, that’s their equivalent of getting out and having a sniff around the neighbourhood!

Responsibility

The daily commitment of caring for an animal is a great way to teach kids the importance of dependability and responsibility. To be a dog’s provider is an honour that requires a lot of patience and work. We make sure that Sausage and BB help to keep Maureen’s water bowl clean and refilled, put her food down, and make sure her bed is nicely plumped up for her to rest in.

Mental Health

It’s actually been scientifically proven that spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. Just having a dog around can give your mental health a huge boost.

Comfort

Having a dog can be a huge source of comfort in so many situations. When my kids are ill, Maureen (as did Chuck) will always be the first one to sit with them while they’re recovering on the couch, she’s always there with face licks when the girls are crying and she lets us know if anyone o much as breathes wrong within a 100m radius of the house. She’s a huge source of comfort for us all and loves nothing more than a snuggle with her pack…except maybe for a 5 mile walk where she gets to chase pheants!

Money

Why Is Your Credit Score So Important?

There are a lot of adverts on TV about credit score checkers at the minute. It seems like everybody is always talking about how important it is to know your credit score and if it isn’t good, to fix it. But how important is it really? A lot of people don’t really bother about their credit score but at some point, it comes back to bite them because it is more important than you think. These are just some of the reasons why a good credit score is so important. Check out thefinanceshub.com to learn how to improve your credit score.

credit score

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Borrowing Money 

Spending loads of money on a credit card is never sensible, but there are times in life when you need to borrow money. Say, you’re buying a new car or you want to do home renovations, for example. It’s fine to borrow money in these situations and if you shop around for good deals, you will be able to manage the repayments. But if you have a credit score, you are seriously limited. You can still get quick loans from new horizons and other similar companies but you may not be able to borrow as much as you need and you will probably pay higher interest. Your credit score is essentially a measure of how responsible you are with money and if you have a bad score, people will not trust you enough to lend you money. If you find yourself in need of a loan for some reason, having a bad credit score will make life difficult for you.

Buying A House 

Buying a house is one of those times when you need to borrow money, and if you have a bad credit score, you will struggle. Your options for mortgages are very limited, if anybody will even lend to you at all. It’s likely that you will end up paying a very high interest rate on your mortgage if your credit is bad. That’s why it’s important to focus on your credit score when preparing your finances for buying a house.

Car Insurance

This is one that people often don’t think about, but it’s a big one. If you have a bad credit score, it can really push your car insurance up. This puts younger people in a tough position because their insurance is already high and they don’t usually have a good credit score because they have not had the time to build one up. However, it only affects you if you pay monthly, not if you pay the whole year in one go.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, you need to check it right away. You can do it for free at Clearscore. If your score is not very good, you should look at getting a credit card that is designed to boost your credit score. You can make small purchases and clear the balance right away, and that will push the score up. Beyond that, you need to make sure that you are budgeting your money well and not missing any payments on bills or loans because that will ruin your score again.

Entertainment

6 Festival Tips for a Great Time

6 Festival Tips for a Great Time
Photo by Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash

Festivals are often the highlight of a summer and allow you to make memories and often friends. If you’re looking for a great time, then you’d be as well read the content below.

Planning

You should fool yourself into thinking being spontaneous is a good idea. When you fail to plan, you can easily end up missing out on the best things at a music festival

Your phone should be your companion throughout because it will help you check important things like the official app, social media, and weather – which means you need to find a way to keep your phone charged. You can carry multiple portable chargers. Another option is pre-ordering then picking it up at the festival.

Dress Correctly

Dressing correctly for a festival involves towing the line between looking stylish and cool and also dressing in a practical and smart manner. Yes, you want to cover up with glow necklaces in bulk but you also need to pack that rain jacket and wellies.

Phone Charging

This can seem like no big deal, but when you book in advance, you end up saving a couple of pounds and pennies. If you grab the car park passes in advance, you can end up saving 10 pounds. You can add this to your drinks budget.

No matter how less stuff you decide to take with you to the festival – you will go with a bag to store your stuff and precious stuff. You will also have those things you think you need but don’t – like the t-shirt you have been saving for such an event.

It is a good idea to get a tent for an extra person. If you are sharing a tent between two people, then get a tent to house three people.

Tents

No one enjoys having their tent near the bogs. It can easily get whiffy when the wind starts to blow the wrong way, and all night people will keep climbing up the steps. Do you want to know the perfect place to have your tent? You should look for a spot that is off the path to avoid people crashing into your tent. Choosing a spot uphill is the best option if it is possible.

Making the tent recognizable

Whether you choose to buy a recognizable tent of you choose the DIY route, it is a good idea to make it easy to spot the tent from a distance. You can invite over your friends going to the festival so you can gather around and customize a flag. You should employ a little creativity, don’t just choose a boring flag like a pirate flag.

Campsite showers are okay – but they tend to have a long queue. If you choose to do it your own way, then you should go with biodegradable wipes. This way, you will be getting clean while saving the planet at the same time.

Want to know a good way of saving space when packing? Leave your pillow at home – it is going to take a lot of room and there is also the risk of getting the pillow soggy if you don’t carry it around the bad when en-route. The best solution is carrying a pillowcase then putting clothes that you are going to take to the festival inside the pillowcase. This will give you a place to rest your head.

Another important tip is keeping a clean pair of socks hidden. You will be happy when it is time to go home and your feet are toasty and clean.

Bin Bags

There are many different instances where bin bags are going to come in handy. They will ensure you don’t spoil the countryside with your rubbish. Bin bags are also very practical. You can use them when you don’t have a raincoat. If you don’t have wellies, you can use them in covering your footwear. You can also use them to cover a leak in your tent if there is any. There are many other ways a bin bag can help you.

There is hot weather in the area, and this is why there are many drinking water points across the Campsites and Arena. Carry a reusable bottle because you also need to think about the environment while keeping yourself hydrated.

Is the inside of your tent feeling like you are in a Sauna? The inside of a tent will leave you sweating, and this shows you are one with nature. Take with you’re a couple of emergency blankets then pack them at the bottom of the bag. You should also have a gaffer tape that you are going to use in sticking the blankets to the tent. This is going to reflect the sun, and this will make things a little cooler inside the tent.

Cooking and Recipes · Food

Tips For Deep-Fat Frying Food

Photo by Pixzolo Photography on Unsplash

In today’s health-conscious environment, deep-fried foods often take a backseat to lower-calorie options. Every so often, however, it is fun to live a little and enjoy some of these delicious foods. As long as you are indulging in a deep-fried treat, you may as well ensure that it tastes perfect. These tips for deep-fat frying will help you get excellent results every time.

Interestingly, deep fat frying falls under the category of dry heat cooking. Even though you use oil, the cooking process doesn’t require water like simmering or poaching, which is why it is considered dry heat.

The tips below will help keep you safe while at the same time allowing you to get delicious results.

One of the keys to successfully deep-frying food is to choose the right oil. Ideally, the oil that you choose should have a high smoke point so that it won’t deteriorate when it reaches the high temperatures required for deep frying. The best oils are sunflower, peanut, canola, or safflower oil.

Your choice of skillet is also important. A deep, heavy-duty skillet is best. Put oil in the bottom of the pan, leaving at least a couple of inches of space at the top. This is important from a safety standpoint. If the pan is too full, the oil could easily bubble over after adding the food. This is why a purpose made deep fat fryer is a better idea. If you want to know more about what to look for then use this detailed guide to choose the best deep fat fryers.

Thoroughly dry the food you are frying before putting it in the pan. You can either set it out on paper towels to allow any moisture to evaporate or you can cover it with a dry coating of bread crumbs or flour. Make sure the coating on the food is dry, as well, by allowing it to sit for about 20 minutes before putting it in the oil.

Once the food is prepared, you can heat the oil. A medium-high heat setting is best. Ideally, you should use a thermometer that is designed for deep-fat frying. The oil temperature should be between 350 and 370°F. You can estimate the temperature of the oil even if you don’t have a thermometer available by cutting a 1-inch piece of bread and putting it in the oil. Time how long it takes for the bread to brown. If it takes approximately a minute, that means that the oil is about 365°F.

Avoid putting too much food in the pan. Make sure there is plenty of space around each item that is cooking. This will give you more even results. If you pile too much food into the pan, it will lower the temperature of the oil. Then, instead of getting crisp, the food will soak up the oil.

Keep a close eye on the pan while the food is cooking. If necessary, adjust the temperature so that the oil stays between 350 and 375°F. As soon as the food is browned, it is ready to take out of the pan. Use a slotted spoon to remove it so that any excess oil will drain. Make sure the spoon has a long handle. Set the finished food on a paper towel to soak up any leftover oil.

If you have more frying to do, try putting the finished food in the oven at a temperature of about 200°F. This will keep it from cooling off while you finish the rest.

From a safety standpoint, the most important thing to remember is that you can’t mix oil and water. Never place water in hot oil. Adding water to the mixture will lead to an explosion. If the oil starts smoking or if the pan catches on fire, place a lid or cookie sheet over it to douse the fire. Sprinkling baking soda on grease fires may also help. Just use caution so that you don’t cause the flames to spread.

Ideally, you should have a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it so that you can respond quickly in an emergency.

Cooking oil should not be reused despite what some people say. Even if you strain it, the oil has already been partially broken down by exposure to heat. This causes trans fats and other unhealthy compounds to form. The best option is to allow the oil to thoroughly cool and then to throw it away

Kids · Money

5 Basic Money Saving Tips that Really Work

Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

A lot of people assume that if they want to accomplish incredible things with their cash, they need to be saving hundreds of pounds worth of income every month. However, this isn’t really true. The fact is that just a couple of pounds placed into a savings account every week can make a huge difference to your finances in the future.

Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed by the idea that budgeting has to mean changing your entire lifestyle, why not make some basic changes to your relationship with cash that really work instead? Here are some top tips to get you started.

  1. Think Bulk, Not Brands

When you’re shopping for essential items like toilet paper, tissues, and even cleaning supplies, it’s easy to get carried away looking at brand names and packaging. However, it’s important not to let the good marketing brainwash you. Instead, look for opportunities to save some extra money by buying supermarket-brand options in bulk.

More often than not, you’re going to get the exact same experience from a supermarket that you would get from a big-brand company, but you’ll save a fortune on the packaging. Remember, you can always buy extra of the things you always need in when they’re on sale, so you don’t run out too.

  1. Rethink your Electricity

When you start searching through your monthly statements for opportunities to save, you’ll notice that you spend cash in some areas more often than others. For instance, a lot of us overspend on food shopping, but we also tend to use a lot of our cash on gas and electricity. If you’re paying over the odds for your electricity, start by looking at offers from other providers to see if you can get a better deal. At the same time, you can also think about exchanging some of your high-consumption appliances with energy-saving alternatives.

While buying a new fridge, washing machine and other essential utensils might require you to take out a loan initially, it will mean that by the time you’ve finished paying what you owe, you’ll have much lower bills.

  1. Stop Over-spending on Drinks

Sometimes, it’s easier to see how much you spend on food from takeaways, restaurants and cafes than it is to recognise how much you’re spending on drinks. How often do you buy yourself a bottle of cola when you go shopping on a weekend to keep you going until you get home? How much do you spend on a morning coffee when you’re on your way to work.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. Not only will you have an instant source of hydration when you need it, but you’ll also get a health boost by switching away from sugary and caffeinated beverages too.

  1. Prep your Meals in Advance

Next time you’re going shopping at the supermarket, make a list of all the meals that you’re going to make for that week. This will help you to make sure that you’re not overspending when you’re walking through the aisles. However, it will also mean that you have everything you need to start prepping your meals in advance.

While spending an afternoon cooking and chopping on a Sunday might not seem like much fun, it will mean that you have all the food you need ready and available to throw into the oven when you get home after a long day at work. Pre-prepped meals make it much less likely that you’ll end up turning to a takeaway for food.

  1. Make Saving Automatic

Finally, if you’re the kind of person who finds saving difficult, then why not simplify the process by making it completely automatic? Take a look at your budget and find out how much you can afford to put into a savings account after your bills are paid for. Then, you can set up a direct debit that moves your money into your savings account before you have a chance to spend it.

Making saving automatic will reduce your risk of spending the cash that you wish you had put aside for later. At the same time, it also means that you don’t need to think about saving at the end of each month. Just make sure that you come and re-check your budget every once in a while to make sure that the amount of cash you’re putting into savings, and the cash you’re using elsewhere still makes sense.