293 articles Articles posted in Family

4 Qualities to Look for In a Moving Company


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

If you are moving into a new house, you wouldn’t be able to move all your stuff without hiring a moving company. Movers exist so that you can transfer all your belongings from your old place to the new one safely and without any inconvenience. A good moving company wouldn’t let your stress about anything and will take over the moving process so that you can sit back and focus on more important things. However, when it comes to hiring a moving company, the process is a bit tricky. There are plenty of movers out there, and choosing the one that is best suitable for the job can be complicated. That is why it is highly recommended that you do plenty of research before hiring a property clearance expert:

Excellent Reviews

The first thing you should look for in a moving company is good reviews. If the company is rated well by its customers and people have shared their good experiences openly, then you shouldn’t hesitate to give it a try. Luckily, we live in a modern world where you can access reviews for any business online. To read the reviews about companies you have shortlisted, you can simply go to their website or check their social media pages. Also, you must not just check the overall rating; you should also read the detailed reviews to get an idea of the kinds of services they provide. If the majority of the reviews are positive, then you can move on to the next step.

Experience

This is something most people don’t even pay attention to when they are hiring a mover, but that is not how it should be. A good moving company also has plenty of experience in the field and are experts at what they do. A mover that has been active for several years would have definitely learned a lot from their mistakes and would have improved their services over time. They know what things to avoid and how to handle tricky situations when they are faced with one. Your belongings are always safer with an experienced mover compared to a moving company that is just getting started.

Licensed and Insured

Another important thing you must keep in mind before hiring a moving company is whether they are licensed or not. A company that is not licensed is not legally allowed to move your possessions from one place to another. They might be cheaper than the other moving companies, but all they will do is cause trouble for you. Make sure that the company you are hiring is licensed but the relevant authorities and has a trained team of staff working for them. Apart from that, a good mover also has excellent insurance coverage, which can pay for the damages in case of an accident. You must never go for a company that doesn’t have insurance coverage because if anything gets damaged during the process, you won’t get any compensation.

No Hidden Rates

Another quality of a great moving company is that they have no hidden rates and will tell you upfront how much they charge. There are plenty of movers out there who only tell you about the hourly rate they charge, and when it comes to billing, they will add all sorts of extra charges in the receipt. So, it is highly recommended that you go for a company who are upfront about their extra charges and are not fooling you in any way.

What to Do When Moving Your Family Internationally

What to Do When Moving Your Family InternationallyImage sourced from Pixabay. CC0 License

In a lot of families there comes the need to move. Spouses get job promotions, family members need extra care and attention, or a dream of living in a certain location has the potential to become a reality. The biggest change in some of these scenarios is that you have to move to a foreign country. Especially if you work in business and finance, it is quite common to constantly move around the globe. If that is the case for you and your family, here are four things to keep in mind if you are moving internationally.

Culture

Your children are going to go to a different school in what is going to feel like a different world. Not only may there be a language barrier that is going to separate them from their new friends, but the culture is also going to be different. Married couples have different customs as you go around the world and so do schools. Before you move, research your new location and what their customs are so that when your family arrives they will be able to assimilate into the new culture and not cause any unwanted problems.

Visas

Make sure you have all the documents and visas you need to enter the country and stay there. If you are going back home to care for a loved one or to simply be closer to your family, make sure your spouse is taken care of legally. Your children may have the citizenship of your country because you are their parent, but if your spouse is a citizen of another country make sure they have their spouse visa. This will avoid them only having a limited amount of time in the country and being forced to leave. When all of your papers are in order, your move will be more smooth.

Cuisine

How lucky are you that you are going to get to discover some of the best food in the world? You may think it’s great, but your kids may not. Before making your big move, try learning how to cook some of the local cuisine of your new country. By making it at home and showing your kids the ingredients, they may be more inclined to try something new. As they get used to the new food, when they arrive at their new location, they will already know what to expect and will be able to have the diet they need or want without any trial and error.

Keep Tradition Alive

Just because you are moving to a new place doesn’t mean you have to give up your culture. Before leaving, enjoy some of the customs and traditions of your home country. Having pride in where you come from and how you celebrate will be a great way to keep those traditions alive in your new country. By having your family connected to their roots it may not seem too scary to pick up and move to a place that is completely unknown.

How Can I Stop My Child Being So Messy?

Messy kids bedroomAlthough it can be normal for your child to make some mess, it can be frustrating when you know that, ultimately, it means more work for you. You may want to find ways to help them become a little bit more organised with their possessions, to cut down on the amount of fetch and carry, alongside wiping and other cleaning, that you then have to do throughout the day. No matter whether your child is 2 or 12, they can be taught to break their messy habits.

Bedroom Storage

One of the first considerations you may need to make when trying to get your child to be a bit tidier is the storage they have available to them. Items which are small, stiff, or even difficult to reach may prevent your child from tidying. An idea to resolve this issue can be to swap out their existing bed for a cabin bed, like those found at roomtogrow.co.uk, as this may have storage attached. A cabin bed is not overly tall, meaning your child will be able to reach the drawers and cupboards, as well as the under-bed space that they may use. This can also help to keep all items in one place, rather than you constantly going through a number of different furniture pieces to look for missing socks or other supposedly lost items.

Rules

A good parent knows that they cannot be fun all the time. Rules and boundaries are important for your child to be able to grow up with a good sense of morals, and know which behaviours are acceptable. You may have a list of rules within your household, that you expect your children to follow. Adding rules about tidying up can help them to understand that these tasks are important. If you choose to add penalties to breaking these rules, such as missing a day out, or no time on a games console, it is important that you stick to what you say, otherwise your child will think that they can continue being messy with no consequence.

Set an Example

Children of all ages can learn through copying any behaviours they have seen, which can either be useful or problematic. If your child sees you leaving mess around the home, they may think it is also acceptable for them to do so. Likewise, if your child sees you putting your books or clothes away, and helping out, they may think that is also what they should do. Setting a good example can be vital to your child’s development, as well as not allowing them to be influenced by any bad examples they may see from their friends, other adults, strangers on the street, or even via the media.

There may be a number of reasons why your child is messy, and each reason will vary from child to child. By finding ways to help promote cleanliness, and giving positive reinforcement for jobs well done, you may be able to replace these behaviours with those that promote a tidier and more hygienic lifestyle.

Everything You Need To Know About Respite Care

You are a wonderful soul if you have taken up the responsibility of taking care of an eldery person at your home. But if you have a job to work on and a house to manage, then it might start taking a toll on your mental and physical health both. This is why caregivers are an essential part of each society. They are the best helping hand for people who are unable to manage and multi-task between their house and job chores and proper medical care for an adult. This is where respite care also comes into consideration. You might be confused as to what it is? Well, let’s find out.

What is Respite Care?

Respite care is a “temporary” service that is provided to caregivers so that they can take a break from their hectic schedules. It allows them to step back and pay attention to their wellbeing for a little while. A private caregiver is appointed to you, according to the medical condition of your loved one. Respite cares ensure that the healthcare provider, appointed to you, is of the appropriate level that you require and is capable of giving you the right personal and medical assistance. 

Can I get Respite Care at Home?

Yes, you can and this is the key difference between a respite care facility and a retirement home. Respite care longs for 63 days at most. You can decide whether you want the healthcare provider at your place or you want to shift your loved one to a residential place where they are taken care of, for a specific time period. This is only temporary and the respite care ends after 63 days, by all means. 

Thus, it is quite different from a retirement home. A retirement home is a permanent residence for old people and they consider it as their new home. Their loved ones can take them home for some days or go and meet them for a few hours every now and then. However, in respite care, it is similar to hiring a private caregiver for your grandparents or a loved one.

How does Respite Care Help?

So how is respite care helpful? Well, it is one of the best services you can get at home, for your loved ones without having to send them away. Even if you do send them to a respite care home, it is only temporarily and not permanently. This type of care giving service is best for parents or grandparents who are ill for a short time period or have been through an accident or a mishap. 

No matter how great you are at multitasking, there are days when you are worn out and tired. To get a break from the burn out, the option of a respite care is certainly one of the best ones to avail. 

How much does it cost?

A respite care costs vary accordingly. Every respite care authority will state a different price. You can always look out for 2-3 options and then choose the one that suits you the best and is easy on your budget too. Also, insurance does not cover your respite care mostly. Thus, it is always best to check in with your insurance provider, if you are confused about it. 

CONCLUSION:

Respite care workers can be found online. You can research for many and find the ones that suit your needs. Make sure to inquire about their services in detail before hiring a caregiver from them.

Things to Look for in a Childcare Centre

If you decide to put your child in a childcare center, you surely know how important it is to choose the right childcare center. Hopefully, this is where your child will spend the next few years – you certainly don’t want to confuse them by moving them to a new childcare too regularly. This is where they’ll make friends, learn skills, and start to develop their personalities. But how do you know when you’ve found the right childcare center? What should you look for? Keep reading as we discuss just this.

Location

It’s no help finding the perfect childcare center if it’s a few hours away. You need to find a childcare center close to where you live and work. Firstly, because it will save you many hours in traffic. Secondly, and most importantly, because it will allow you to reach the school quickly if there’s an emergency. Finally, this will allow you and your child to get used to the area and get to know people who live there. You should look at centers closest to you before searching for ones further out. For example, if you live in Sydney, start by looking at centers in Sydney.

Safety

Most parents agree that safety is the most important aspect of a childcare center. You might be wondering how exactly to know if a center is safe. Start by looking at the physical aspects: is there decent fencing? Are the playgrounds and classrooms child-proof? Then look at things like how they monitor who enters – do parents get keycards, or can anyone just walk in? Finally, if you know any parents whose kids are in that childcare center, talk to them about their experience. This is likely to get you the most accurate information.

Resources

Look, a childcare center doesn’t need a bunch of fancy, high-tech equipment and toys in order to teach your child. That being said, they should have a variety of methods of teaching, as children learn in different ways, and they require various methods of mental and physical stimulation. You can also ask them about field trips and what a normal daily schedule would look like so that you can ensure that your child is getting a well-rounded education. Also be sure to ask about what meals they serve each day – if possible, you should choose a center that offers nutritional meals.

The Teachers

Your child will spend a lot of time at their childcare center, meaning they will spend a lot of time with their teachers. It is therefore important to make sure that you trust them. Feel free to ask about their qualifications or experience. You can also ask them what they would do in a specific situation. The last thing you want is to reprimand your child for something, only to have them say, “But my teacher says it’s okay!”. A good teacher can make a huge, positive difference in your child’s life. Similarly, a bad teacher can have a severe negative impact.

Updating My Custom Doll House

Updating My Custom Doll HouseThis is a picture of the house halfway through being built.

You may remember that I posted some years ago now about the doll house that my Nan and Grandad built for me when I was a child, and how I planned to renovate it. Well, life well and truly got in the way and it has, unfortunately, lived in my mother-in-law’s loft since then. However, with the summer holidays getting close, I’ll have a lot more time on my hands and I’ve decided to make it a priority. Here are some of the things I plan to do:

Wallpaper

When I first started planning the renovation, I had thought about going to my local DIY superstore and getting sme wallpaper samples to use. However, it turns out that dolls house wallpaper is actually a thing! It can be bought by the sheet and is self-adhesive, with much smaller print which looks better on the little walls.

Floor Coverings

Most of the rooms are carpeted and in great condition, but on the surfaces which aren’t carpeted, I plan to use some really funky checkerboard floor tiles that I’ve seen. They’re perfect for a small floor and will give the whole house a nice updated look and I can’t wait to see what the finished effect will look like.

Roof Repairs

As I said in my old post, the roof tiles are individually cut out of a teracotta colours lino to look like the real thing. I don’t want to retile the while roof as that would be an enormous job, so I plan to find something which is as close to the original material as possible and patch the roof up where it needs it. I’m hoping to get it looking back to its original glory, but I’m nowhere near as skilled as my lovely Grandad, so I just hope I can do him justice.

Me with my doll houseYes, that is tiny me!

Curtains

The curtains that my Nan made for the doll house are still pretty good, but the fabric is a little dated and could do with some modernisation. Thankfully, I’m fairly decent with a sewing machine and I can do a good job of updating all of the curtains and soft fabrics in the house. I’ll probably choose a fabric which co-oridinates with the new wallpaper so that it all goes well together.

Furniture

This is the one area where I may choose to outsource and buy replacements for the furniture, instead of attempting to make my own. Aside from having nowhere near the skill of my grandparents in this area, I don’t have the tools OR the space to do this type of work, so I’ll hit eBay, Facebook and maybe Freecycle to see if I can source a whole house worth of new furniture that way.

Tips for Busy Moms: No House Helps

Moms have a lot on their plates, probably more than men have in their briefcases. How do you manage a home without going insane? Good organization is critical. If you are a busy mom feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to read through these tips. They will make your life easier.

Meals

Nothing is more exhausting than daily cooking. What immense efforts were made for a meal that was then quickly swallowed! But offering healthy food to your family is well worth the time. Use these tips.

Frozen foods: Stock up on frozen foods. They are picked at full maturity, stored at the best time of freshness, and they will save you precious time: no need to peel them! 

Meal planning: Plan your menus for the five evenings of the week. Indeed, it is not preparing a meal that takes the most time. It is choosing what to cook! Last-minute decisions about meals are not just time-consuming; they can be stressful.

Cook on weekends: During the weekend, spend half a day cooking. Prepare as many dishes as possible for the week, which you will store in the refrigerator or freezer. When you get from work in the evening, all you have to do is reheat them and add the final touch (a fresh sauce, parsley, etc.).

Shopping

Make a shopping list: Make a shopping list of the products you need regularly. You will hang it on the refrigerator. Whenever you / the nanny / your husband find that something is missing, update it. When it’s time to go shopping, refer to it. It will save you from unending trips to the store during the week.

Use home delivery: Take advantage of the stores’ delivery services. As long as you group your purchases, the amount of the bill will surely entitle you to free delivery.

Shop online: Shopping online can be a bit more expensive. Butyou save the cost of the car trip, and you save yourself a lot of effort. A shopping cart for four people weighs at least 30 kg. Think about the strain on your back when you load and unload!

Cleaning

Pace yourself: It’s not about cleaning everything thoroughly every day but about keeping your home consistently tidy and clean. Clean that uncluttered kitchen table, dirty sink, a stained floor as soon as you notice that they need cleaning.

Use the right products: Most of us are don’t have the time to clean. So finding a cleaning product that speeds up the work can significantly save your time and effort. The right tile cleaner, for instance, should be tough on stains and gentle on the tile surface.

Get every tool you need: Gather all the equipment you need in a plastic bin that you can carry with you. This will eliminate the need to leave one room to pick up a brush or soap in another or from wondering where you may have put the mop or the cleaning product.

Be strategic: When you tackle the cleaning of a room, proceed methodically. Update your knowledge on how to clean grout. Learn about the products and techniques that work best. When cleaning, start at a corner of the room and dust while going around until you return to the starting point. Then clean what is in the middle of the room.

Laundry

Get a laundry basket: Install a basket of dirty laundry in each bedroom or on each floor to encourage everyone to throw away their belongings. This will prevent you from stalking dirty socks under the bed and picking up T-shirts behind the toy box.

Documents

Talk to the children: Teach your children and your partner to empty the pockets of their clothes before putting them in the dirty basket. Nothing is more painful than the white paper handkerchief that we find crumbled on all the clothes or the purple bus ticket, leaving its mark on the ivory blouse!

Sort your receipts and papers, including pay slips, bank statements, reservations—separate bills from correspondence.

Among the documents to be processed, immediately deal with those which require an urgent response or which do not require more than five minutes (a check to write, a slip to fill out). Andgather the others in a file. You will deal with them later.

Good luck!

Making Money At Home For Your Loved Ones

Image 

The pandemic last year hit many of us hard for many different reasons. There are many people around the world who have lost jobs, been put on furlough, or have had to close down their small businesses during the time where people had to stay at home. 

One of the important things to try and do during these difficult times is find new ways to make money for yourself and to support your loved ones. There are many methods for making some extra money at home whether it be via a hobby or setting up a passive stream – and here we have some ideas for you to try today. 

Sell artwork 

One of the first things you can try to do this year is sell some artwork. Whether you are a dab hand with a paintbrush, delicate with a pencil, or you take amazing photographs – people will pay to have these framed in their homes as decoration. Set up your own Facebook page or an Etsy site and it will allow you to sell your work to people and make some extra money doing something you enjoy. 

Create a YouTube channel

One of the most lucrative and wide ways to make money in the modern world is to start a YouTube channel and share content with the world. When you create a YouTube channel you are able to share any type of content you want from makeup tutorials to crime stories and more. You can choose whatever subject you love and share it with the world. The great thing about YouTube is that you are able to put your video out there into the world and over time you’ll start to make passive income as people view it. It is a useful way to make money but can also become a great hobby for you to destress and enjoy. 

Trade currency 

If you are looking for a more investment focused way to make money, trading currency is a great idea. The forex market has been the most lucrative market in the world for years and recently cryptocurrencies such as Polkadot (DOT) and Bitcoin have been introduced which are growing rapidly in popularity over time. Take the chance this year to start trading on the forex market and see what a difference it can make to your income over the years. 

Take on freelance jobs 

If you have a specific skill that you want to share with the world, one helpful way to make some money this year is to join a network such as Upwork and look at signing up for freelance jobs posted by others on the site. This can be a great way to make money at your own pace when you have some free time and it will ensure that you get some income when you need it most and you won’t be tied into doing work every day if you don’t have the time. 

Consider some of these methods of making money this year for your loved ones and start to invest for you family’s future.

Why to Consider Buying Green

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.

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.