Driving · Environment · Family

Why to Consider Buying Green

Why to consider buying green
Photo by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

When it comes to electric cars it’s no longer a case of if but when. The government has announced that we won’t be able to buy new petrol or diesel cars in the UK from 2030 onwards and even plug-in hybrids will be no longer from 2035, so electric looks like being your main option.

Electric car sales are on the rise already, though, with plenty of people recognising the plus-sides to EVs. They are cheaper to fuel and you can do it from home or at work in many cases, they can drive into city centres without paying charges (where they apply) and you don’t have to pay anywhere near as much tax.

That’s before you consider the fact that they are quiet to drive, often have lots of modern tech and many are good to drive.

If you are considering going green, then these cars would be a good place to start, plus you can find out how much your current car’s worth with an online valuation from market experts, Parkers.

Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen’s Beetle enabled many people to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time when it first launched – could the ID.3 do the same with electric?

It’s VW’s first purpose built electric car (VW did make electric versions of the Golf and Up, though) but there will be lots of other ‘ID’ EVs to come from the brand. It looks different to other VWs, to set it apart, but it still offers a great level of family-friendly practicality and ease of use.

There’s space for five, it feels spacious inside and it feels familiar and accessible when it comes to driving it. There is a choice of ranges, too, with an impressive 260 or 336 miles possible.

Tesla Model 3

Despite the company’s relative newness, no list of electric cars is complete without a Tesla these days. The Model 3 is the cheapest one in the brand’s range but it still comes with a load of the fancy tech that Tesla is famed for now.

The thing that will tempt many, though, is the promised 353-mile range – that should be enough for most long-distance trips. It’s really quick and fun to drive, too, so it’s little surprise that it is shooting up the sales charts [https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/] to become one of the more popular cars on sale in the UK full stop.

Polestar 2

If you thought Tesla was a newbie then compared to Polestar it is an established household name. However, there is more to it than that as this is an electric-only arm of Volvo. It’s also the company that is Tesla’s closest rival, offering some up-to-the-minute features like vegan interiors, although it doesn’t have as many gimmicks as some rivals with a minimalist cabin with very few buttons. Think the sort of living room that pops up in those Scandi dramas that are so popular. It’s smart and sophisticated rather than dripping with showy tech.

The range is impressive, although not quite at the level of the Tesla and ID.3 – it tops out at 292 officially. It’s not the most spacious of cabins compared to some, but it still has enough room to appeal to family buyers.

Citroen e-C4

One of the big benefits of electric cars is that they are less stressful to drive – there is much less noise and vibration and the lack of gears etc mean they are relaxing on the road.

The Citroen e-C4 majors on this, and makes for a really smooth driving experience with a comfy ride and seats. While it isn’t a dedicated EV (there are petrol and diesel versions too) it was designed to be an electric car from the start.

The range isn’t as headline grabbing as some of the other new electric cars, but at 217 miles it will cope with almost everything for the majority of drivers. And it is capable of a lot more than the electric cars of only a few years ago.

Kia Soul

Not everyone who buys an electric car wants to slip into the background unnoticed – you might want to make a statement with your funky new battery-powered wheels.

The Kia Soul is certainly distinctively looking, although its boxy shape means it still has a decent-sized and airy cabin, even if it isn’t the biggest or most practical out there.

It’s quick and fun to drive, too – 0-62mph comes in just 7.9 seconds and it has a claimed range of 280 miles.

Crafts · Kids

The Best Flower Crafts for Kids

Kids Flower CraftsArts and crafts are important for your child’s development. Not only can they get their creative juices flowing, and let their imagination run wild, but the holding of pens and paintbrushes can help improve their fine motor skills.

Plus, there is no better time to do some crafting, and as the weather begins to get warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, there is plenty to spark your child’s imagination.

From potting plants to sunflower competitions, if you’ve been spending more time outdoors as a family, why not use nature as your inspiration for your next crafting session with your kids.

Here are our top flower-themed activities for you and your little ones to get your hands on, and most importantly, have fun!

Flower hand painting

With bright shades and interesting petal shapes, flowers make the perfect, colourful spring time picture. Plus, when paint is involved, things can get messy and fun!

Tulips have a unique shape and come in a variety of colours, so why not make them the subject of your kids’ crafting session. Even better, you get to create the painting using your little one’s hands.

To make a tulip painting you will need:

  • Paper
  • Plate or paper plate
  • Colourful paint, including green
  • Paintbrush
  • Apron (if you think things will get messy)

First, encourage your child or guide them to paint a green stem on the paper, and then add some large green leaves. If you have a bunch of tulips to hand, it can help to mirror the shape. Next is the best bit – and made need some adult supervision if your child is younger.

Your child then places their hand on a plate of coloured paint, making sure that its completely covered. Then, press their hand firmly on the paper at the top of the stem. Keep the fingers together, and then slowly spread them out to create the tulip shape.

The picture is then complete! You can do this on a folded piece to make a greetings card, or cut out the hand-print flower and stick on the top of a lolly stick to make a pretty bookmark. You can also experiment with shapes and colour.

Try yellow as the main colour, and spread the hand out completely when pressing on the paper – you can then fill the middle with some black paint to create a beautiful sunflower picture. Again, if you’ve been growing sunflowers in your garden, you can take the activity outside and use them as inspiration.

Egg box flowers

The best crafts are made from the materials you can find around your house, reusing something that possibly could have been thrown away. For example, an old egg box is a great starting point to make a colourful and interesting, homemade bunch of flowers.

To make egg box flowers you will need:

  • Egg box
  • Scissors
  • Colourful paint
  • Green pipe cleaners or lolly sticks
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)

Firstly, if you’re child is old enough, let them cut each section of the egg box individually, or you can step in to help. Then, you cover the whole section in colourful paint – whichever colour your little one chooses. If using them, stick a button in the middle of the box to create the centre of the flower. Or you can simply paint the centre with a contrasting colour.

Finally, stick the egg box flower to the top of a green painted lolly stick or pipe cleaner. If you wish, you can bunch up a few of them and tie together with a coloured ribbon, taking inspiration from the flowers you find outdoors. You can use them to decorate the kid’s own section of your garden.

Tissue paper blossoms

If paint isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other materials that can represent the colours and flowers that we see in nature. The texture of tissue paper can be used to create blossoms – the perfect activity for spring as we begin to see these bloom all around us!

To make a blossom picture, you will need:

  • Pink tissue paper
  • A piece of paper
  • Glue
  • Brown pen, crayon or pencil

The first step is the most fun for little ones, as you need to screw up all the tissue paper into little balls. Set aside whilst you encourage or help your child to draw a tree trunk and some branches on the piece of paper, with either a crayon, pen or pencil. Then, they can stick the tissue paper flower buds onto the branches they’ve drawn, until the paper is full and a beautiful blossom tree has been created.

You can use any shade of tissue paper you like to create the blossom picture, and with nature as your inspiration, the possibilities are endless!

Family

Top Features to Consider for Your Family Car

Buying a Family Car

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

When you’re young and buying a car, you want it to have features like a great sound system and maybe even a soft-top for cruising with your mates when the sun is shining. However, once you get older and you have a family, your car-related priorities are definitely very different! Today, we’re looking at five features that make a good family car GREAT, whether you’re buying or leasing.

Extra Power Sockets

I don’t know about you, but my kids rarely go anywhere without their devices, especially if we’re driving for any length of time. Now, let me ask you this; have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam with a toddler whose tablet battery has just died?! Believe me, it’s about as close to torture as you can get without having your fingernails pulled out! Lots of cars now offer powerpoints which are accessible by the rear passengers, and believe me, being able to charge from the back of the car can be a godsend! Take a look at Lease Deals on the BMW M5 for cars with some amazing features.

ISOFIX Points

I’ve been a parent for almost 13 years and in all that time, I’ve used various different types of car seats. There have been some which are easy to put in and some which are an absolute pain in the rear end! I have to say that the current ISOFIX car seat that we have for Burrito Baby has been the easiest one to use. If you can find a car with ISOFIX points, it will definitely make your life easier and those saved minutes when trying to get out of the house can make all the difference.

Cup Holders

As well as needing their devices when we go anywhere, my kids are a big fan of snacks and drinks in the car too. And if you’ve ever taken snacks in the car for kids, you’ll know that there’s a HIGH possibility of spillages. Our last car had some really well placed cup holders which meant that both kids had a place to put their drinks and nothing ever got spilled on the upholstery. WIN!

Bluetooth

Using your cell while driving is downright dangerous. One tactic is to pull over when you have to talk. Another is to opt for a car with a built-in Bluetooth. That way, you sync your mobile phone with the car so you can make and take calls with a touch of a button (often on the steering wheel), or even by simply saying the person’s name. After all, the best family car is a safe family car.

Driving

Five Reasons to Lease a Car Instead of Buying

Leasing a New CarFor many of us, when we think about having a car, we immediately think of buying a vehicle. But there is a different way – leasing! It was estimated in 2018 that 1.6 million Brits lease their car and we don’t doubt that that figure is even higher three years on. With this in mind, I thought I’d talk to you today about the reasons for leasing a car, rather than buying:

The Cost

Believe it or not, the monthly cost of leasing a car is often cheaper than monthly finance payments. In fact, many people find that they’re able to afford a much nicer vehicle for their budget when leasing than spending the same money on finance. And don’t forget, most Leap vehicle leasing  will allow you to buy the vehicle outright at the end, if you want to.

Value

There’s that old adage about new cars losing a huge amount of value as soon as you drive them off of the forecourt for the first time, and that’s something that is definitely true. However, when you lease a car instea dof buying, the value of the vehicle is someone elses problem. Because you’ll be returning the car to the dealer instead of selling it, you don’t need to worry about losing anything when you’re ready to get a new vehicle.

Maintenance

Many new cars offer a warranty that lasts at least three years. So when you take out a three-year lease, most of the repairs should be covered. Leasing arrangements mean that you won’t have to worry about the expense of repairs, should something go wrong with your car. Also, new cars don’t require MOTs for the first three years either, so you won;t have to factor this into your budget.

That New Car Smell

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving around in abrand new vehicle, and that’s a feeling you get to keep when you lease a car – when the lease is up in a few years, you can return it and get your next new car. This means that you’ll always have a new car which is maintenance and MOT free, too!

No Need to Sell

Are you the type of person who hates to haggle? If so, you probably hate the idea of selling your used car to a dealership or a private buyer. With a lease, you simply return the car. The only thing you have to worry about is paying any end-of-lease fees, including those for abnormal wear or additional mileage on the vehicle, but this is something you can keep an eye on yourself throughout the lease, so you should have a rough idea of what these charges might be.

Blogging

Can You Make Money From Home Through Affiliate Marketing?

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The ideal life for a lot of people is being able to stay at home while still earning a decent living. Not only that, but you want to work for yourself and set your own schedule in life. It’s possible to seek out different opportunities to achieve this state of living, one of which is affiliate marketing. 

What is affiliate marketing?

In short, it’s a type of digital marketing that relies on people promoting things for companies. As an affiliate, a company provides you with your own unique link to share with other people. When someone clicks on your link and purchases something from the company, you receive a percentage of the sale. Effectively, you receive a commission for promoting a business.

When you read this, you begin to wonder, can you actually make money through affiliate marketing? Well, the overall answer is yes, because you certainly can. However, there are definitely things you need to know before you go down this route. A lot of affiliate marketers don’t make money, but it is definitely possible. 

Find an affiliate marketing platform

Going out into the big wide world of affiliate marketing on your own is never going to end well. Instead, you need a platform to help you get set up. Essentially, these platforms help you find affiliate marketing opportunities and give you tools to help promote the various companies. They may also offer education to further your knowledge on the topic. Be careful, as this Wealthy Affiliate review shows, some platforms can be outdated and a bit of a waste of money. Do lots of research before coming to a decision on the platform you wish to choose. 

Don’t spend too much money

As an affiliate marketer, you can spend money to promote your link and get it seen by many people. Things like paying to have ads directing people to your blogs or using social media ads are popular ideas. Nevertheless, you should aim to spend as little money as you possibly can. Otherwise, you might struggle to make a profit when you compared your affiliate earnings to what you spent. This is a mistake many affiliates make all the time!

Work with companies you trust and believe in

Lastly, only become affiliates for companies that you trust and believe in. The best way to make money through affiliate marketing is via a blog or social media account. Thus, you need to ensure that the companies you work with aligning with your particular brand. If you have a blog about sports, it makes sense to promote companies that sell sports clothing, equipment, etc. It’s easier to work your link into your content, and your target audience will be interested in the companies as well. Research the companies beforehand to ensure they are legit and trustworthy too. 

You most certainly can make money as an affiliate marketer, but it’s not as easy as people make out. There’s this myth that affiliate marketing is easy and you can instantly earn a fortune. In reality, it takes a fair bit of skill and perseverance to ensure you actually earn a steady income.