145 articles Tag 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.

Things to Do in and Around Richmond, Yorkshire

Richmond CastleAs I’ve said before, while I’m not in any hurry to get out amongst the germy masses and expose the kids to COVID, I am looking forward to get out on some day trips and short breaks, once things are safe again. Before lockdown, my Mum and I were actually talking about getting us all away on holiday together and renting somewhere for us four, my Mum and Dad and my sister and her fiance.

One of the places I found while I was looking was The Green Door Holiday Cottage in Richmond, which is a luxury cottage in Yorkshire. Usually, we’d head for the south coast for family holidays to places like Cornwall and Devon, but the thought of taking our travels north actually really appeals to me. With this in mind, I started looking at some things to do, in and around Richmord, for when we eventually get to take our trip.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is an English Heritage site, right in the heart of Richmond and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Dales. Even better, if you’re an English Heritage member, you and anyone included in your membership will get in for free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely educational day out for very little outlay.

Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve

According to TripAdvisor, “Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve covers 100 acres of moorland edge adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species. The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and Alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows. The patchwork of habitats across Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is home to more than 2440 species. At the heart of the reserve is a modern, purpose-designed Field Centre, a great place to start your visit and learn more about the wildlife of Foxglove Covert.” Sounds like a wonderful place for a walk and a picnic!

The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner was originally a private folly. However, after popular demand, the site has been opened up to the public with four acres of all-out weird! Discover a unique labyrinth of pathways, tunnels, chambers and galleries throughout the woods. They’ll present a barrage of tricky challenges, including the occasional spray of water! Just keep your eyes peeled for the secret brass circles which reveal hidden markings and direct you on your mission. There’s also a lovely picnic area for when you need a break from the fantasy.

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.

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.

Loving Liverpool After Lockdown

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll probably know that as a family, we’re big fans of Liverpool. Obviously, the main love is Liverpool FC, but we’re also in love with the actual city of Liverpool and the people who live there. Husband and I often joke that we’d feel way more at home in Liverpool because of the politics and attitudes of the people up there and we’ve even sat and trawled through Rightmove, fantasising about a move to the North West where housing costs are so much more affordable.

Travelling right now is out of the question (we’ve barely left the house since this time last year!) and we certainly won’t be going anywhere until it’s totally safe. We can’t wait for lockdown to end so that we can visit our spiritual home again, and this in mind, I thought I’d put together a little list of some of the places that we’re planning to go:

Anfield

Anfield Stadium, Home of Liverpool FCI mean, come on, this one was a no-brainer, right?! Husband has been to Anfield to watch Liverpool play many times but I’ve only been once and I was pregnant with BB at the time, so I’d love for us to go back as a foursome and watch a match. There is NOTHING in the world like the sound of The Kop singing You’ll Never Walk Alone to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

World Museum Liverpool

World Museum Liverpool

The World Museum Liverpool is the oldest of all of the museums and galleries in Liverpool and is famous for its great collections, its history of innovation and the family-friendly experience that it offers. From science demonstrations to a packed aquarium, this is something that all four of us would absolutely love.

Mersey Ferries

Mersey Ferries LiverpoolHave you even been to Liverpool if you haven’t taken a ferry ‘cross the Mersey?! Aside from the fact that the boast themselves look like something that Paul McCartney saw in an LSD-fuelled dream, the Mersey Ferries have been an iconic way to see the shores of Liverpool for decades. Plus, with an adult return fare costing less than £4, it’s a cheap and cheerful way to kill a couple of hours in the City.

Knowsley Safari

Knowsley Safari LiverpoolI’ve gotta admit, as a family we’re suckers for a zoo or safari park and being in lockdown has made us really miss visiting this sort of attraction. As well as the car safari, which has wolves, tigers, giraffes and more, there’s a foot safari section of the park which is more like walking around a zoo, so you get the best of both worlds. I know for a fact that we could lose a whole day wandering around somewhere like this!

That’s the list so far! Have you been to Liverpool? What was your favourite thing to do there? Do leave me a comment with any recommedations below, I’d love to hear from you. In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

Fun Ideas for Renovating Your Child’s Bedroom

Traditionally, kids’ bedrooms have been decorated blue for a boy and pink for a girl. But what if you want to move away from gender stereotypes and go for more adventurous décor inyour child’s bedroom? This opens up a world of opportunity to create something unique and magical.

Here’s some fresh ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Go for bright, invigorating colours

Bright colours are generally frowned upon in adults’bedrooms, but with kids’ rooms the rules are more relaxed. It’s easy to paint the walls in exciting colours but what aboutadding colour to the ceiling or floor? They’re usually kept in neutral colours, but they don’t have to be.

Paint the ceiling with a starry or cloudy sky or go bold with one vibrant colour.  You’ll need a step ladder and long armed roller to make it easier to paint, but other than that it’s fairly cost effective to do.

Modern vinyl flooring has created the opportunity to addbright colour to the floor, with lots of child-friendly options. For this idea there’ll be vinyl flooring fitting costs, but it shouldn’t be any more expensive that fitting a new carpet.

Use pattern and shapes

The use of pattern and shapes in children’s bedrooms can be particularly effective in creating a new bold style.  Try painting large squares, circles and triangles across the four walls, or thick stripes that stretch the length of the room.  All you’ll need to achieve this look is some contrasting paint colours and a few rolls of masking tape. 

You can easily complement this with stripey or geometric bedding and curtains.

Create a theme from scratch

Creating a theme in a child’s bedroom needn’t be difficult.  You don’t necessarily need to buy a whole set of matching items from a shop to create a theme.  

For example, to create a pirate theme you could paint the room sea blue, hang a large Jolly Roger flag on the wall and paint a toy chest to look like a treasure chest.

Add a playful feature

Kids’ bedrooms are not just a place to sleep, they are often used as a space to play and learn. So why not add a playful feature to enrich your child’s room?

Go big with a bed that looks like a treehouse or install a mini-climbing wall. Or keep it simple with a play-tent, swinging chair or chalkboard wall. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

My Nostalgic Music Playlist #MemoriesInMusic

My Nostalgic Music Playlist #MemoriesInMusicIf there’s one thing which is sure to evoke a lot of memories, it’s hearing a particular song which reminds me of a specific time in my life. Some of those memories are so strongly linked to the song that it can actually remind me of how I felt when I was hearing it, way back when. Chums, the online-fashion retailer have recently created a campaign to search for Memories in Music to help people bring the happier days back to life. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my most nostalgic songs for you:

Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

When I was 6, my Mum and Dad split up, and my Mum and I moved in with her parents for a while. We shared a set of bunkbeds in their small second bedroom and although it was cramped, I was happy. Mum had job in a bar and I’d sit with her in the evening, watching her get ready, listening to her music – the smell of hairspray reminds me of this, too! Mum had her stereo and a load of vinyl in our room, and one of her favourite bands was Fleetwood Mac (she had a bit of a Stevie Nicks vibe going on in the late 80s!) and Rhiannon reminds me so much of this time.

Mmmbop – Hanson

Anyone who knows me well knows that I was a MASSIVE Hanson fan when I was younger. When Mmmbop came out, I immediately fell in love and even to this day, I feel transported back to a really happy time when I hear it. My whole bedroom was covered in Hanson posters, including the ceiling, and I used to spend Saturday mornings sitting by the TV with a blank tape in the VHS, waiting to hit record, just in case they came on the telly!

Rewind – Craig David

When I was about 15, my friends and I would spend every Friday night at “Intrigue”, an under 18’s Nappy Night, located in an old bingo hall. We’d get dressed up in what were, looking back, some rather over-the-top outfits (a powder blue lace dress, white Wonderbra and a white feather boa was a personal fave, and NO, my mother did NOT know I was going out dressed like that!) and feel like we were going to a proper nightclub. UK Garage was massive around this time, and this song was a particular fave…still is, if I’m totally honest! It’s like my guilty music pleasure.

Everlong – Foo Fighters

I’ve loved Foo Fighters since the first time my friend Steven played The Colour and The Shape to me, back in the late 90’s, but Everlong has always been my favourite. When Husband and I met, one of the things we immediately bonded over was music, especially Everlong. We’d been together just a few months when we saw Foo Fighters play in Hyde Park on the day after my 22nd birthday, and it’s been something that brings back amazing memories ever since.

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

Another song that is special to Husband and I is “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. When I was around 9, my family and I lived in a house which was just down the road from a second-hand record shop and it became routine for me to go there on a Saturday morning and buy a record. I started collecting vinyl and Pet Sounds was a personal fave. In those early days of our relationship, when we’d sit and talk for hours, learning about each other, I found out that Husband was a huge Beach Boys fan when he was a kid too. Back in September 2016, we were lucky enough to get tickets to see Brian Wilson perform at a local venue, and it was one of the most amazing experiences that Husband and I have ever had – it’s something I’ll remember until I’m old and grey.

What are your #MemoriesInMusic? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Helping Children Through a Divorce

Helping Children Through a DivorceIf two people no longer wish to remain together, that is their business. Divorces can, at times, be messy and complicated. A couple who once felt nothing but love and admiration may now only feel resentment and spite towards their former other half. It is known for individuals to get hurt quite often during the divorce process. 

Yet, in all this, it can sometimes be the children who bear the brunt of the pain of their parents’ lost love. Child custody rights when filing for divorce can be one of the issues that causes the most friction, particularly when children are made to feel like they must choose between one parent or the other.

Whether you are one of the parents, a relative, or even a family friend, there are multiple ways in which you can help children get through the divorce process with as little trauma as possible.

Offer to Babysit

If you are an outsider in the divorce, looking after the child while the parents are at a mediation, or in court itself, can take a weight off of everyone’s shoulders. This way, children do not have to be exposed to the divorce process, and parents can take some time to decompress afterwards to limit the amount of emotional strain that their children are exposed to.  

Fun activities during this time can also help to take the child’s mind off of how their world has been disrupted, which can be great for their wellbeing. 

Open Conversation

Communicating with children can be key. Their parents may be struggling with their own emotions and stresses and, therefore, be less available to the needs of their offspring. This can be a crucial time for other trusted adults to step up and be there for these vulnerable young people. Building trust and opening communications regarding the children’s thoughts and feelings can help them to work through their feelings in a safe and healthy way. 

Keep Bickering Away

If you are the child’s parent, you may be concerned about how your upcoming divorce is affecting them. One of the crucial ways of limiting their distress is to avoid discussing the divorce around them. Likewise, ensure that you and your former partner do not speak ill of the other around the children, as this may put them in an uncomfortable position. 

Unless there is a legitimate reason for doing so, such as a parent threatening or endangering the child, there is also no reason that they should be privy to the real reason behind the divorce. A child does not need to know about any adultery, or other marital issues, and relationships between both parents and their children should be maintained wherever possible. However, you shouldn’t just brush it under the carpet – explain to them what is happening in the simplest form and ensure they know it’s not their fault.

Going through a divorce can be stressful for anyone involved, but it is crucial that children are protected from as much of the emotional turmoil as possible. Likewise, it is key that they are reassured, as often as they need, that they are not at fault, and that they are loved. 

Do I Need a Family Lawyer?

Happily ever after. Just look at those three words. Few people ever get to say them and mean them. For most people, statistically speaking, marriage and civil partnerships are the fastest route to relationship breakdowns and separation. When this happens, worlds can be turned upside down and entire lives can be uprooted – people can find that they must relocate and start again, and where this person was not expecting a breakup, the sharp change in situation can be difficult to deal with. Add things like division of wealth and child custody into the picture and we can soon start to see how not every couple can manage these things alone.

This is where a family lawyer comes in. The family lawyer can direct how to split possessions and money, and can give an understanding of ‘grounds for full custody of child’. Let’s look at how family law may be relevant to you.

Prenuptial agreements can resolve issues before they occur

Prenuptial agreements are contracts. Both parties must read and sign the contract prior to entering into a marriage or civil partnership (other contracts called post nuptial agreements may also be available once the marriage or civil partnership has already taken place). The purpose of the contract is to distinguish the individual rights and responsibilities expected of each person in the event of a breakdown in the relationship.

The ‘prenup’ contracts could cover a range of situations, starting with unique things such as who gets sole possession of an object with sentimental value, to the much more serious issues of the division of wealth. In any case, the contract exists to serve as an expedited route to separation, meaning that if each party adheres to the terms set out in the contract, a faster and smoother break up can be achieved.

Of course, things change over time, and sometimes there may be further debate over certain parts of the contract that may not hold especially true years down the line, but in general the prenup can open the door to a new life much faster than if a prenup were not undertaken.

Child custody rights 

Child custody battles can be ugly. Where a breakup has been emotionally charged, one parent may attempt to muddy the waters of child custody or visitation rights by suggesting the home provided by the other parent is not suitable. This can mean one parent may go weeks without contact with their children, essentially on the grounds of false claims.

A family lawyer can direct a separated parent through the custody rights battle and try to regain contact between the parent and their child on legal grounds – meaning that the parent who is being difficult will have no legal grounds to keep the child away.

5 Reasons You Need to Hire a Family Lawyer

If you have not hired a family lawyer and you think you might not need one in future either, then you may want to reconsider that. Life is unpredictable, and you can suddenly find yourself standing in a place you will require some help from a legal counsel. Having a family lawyer on your side is always a good thing. People go through numerous ups and downs in their life, and having a lawyer that you trust around you in such time is no less than a blessing. People hire family lawyers for numerous reasons, let’s take a look at the most common ones:

Preparing A Will or Trust

No one likes to think about their death, and it is ok to do that because living in fear of death hasn’t done any good to anyone. However, death is inevitable, and there are some decisions we must make before our time comes. Not everyone is lucky enough to plan their finances before their demise. So one must appreciate the chance and do it as soon as possible. You don’t want your family to go through the hassle of courts or internal conflict when it comes to asset distribution. A family lawyer can help you devise a will that they will share with your family after your demise. That way, your family doesn’t have to worry about anything, and everyone will get what they deserve.

Divorce

When it comes to divorce, it mainly depends on the couple how they handle it. Some couples agree on things mutually, but and some just cannot find common ground. In the latter scenario, things can get ugly sometimes, and if you don’t hire a lawyer early on, your case can become weak. Things like assets distribution, child custody, and child support can become an issue in court and can drag on for years. Having a skilled attorney on your side will make sure that you get what you deserve, and no one gets wronged in the entire process.

Child Custody

Divorce will lead to a custody battle between you and your ex, and things can get uglier here. Most people don’t like to believe it, but when it comes to this kind of situation, your ex-partner will do everything they can to make sure that they get more custody then you. In fact, in some cases, people even go for full custody and try everything they can to make sure that you don’t get to see the child as often as you like. In such a case, a family lawyer can really help you take control of the situation.

Family Building

Whether you are planning to get married or are thinking of adopting a child, a lawyer can help you build your family as well. When you are getting married, your lawyer can take care of your prenuptial agreement and can make sure that both you and your spouse are making the right decision. Also, if you want to do the noble deed of adopting a child, you will need your lawyers to help. Adopting a child involves a lot of paperwork, and you have to go through a screening procedure. Your family lawyer can make sure that your application for adoption gets approved.

Finance Protection

If you are someone who deals with financial risks regularly, then you will need a lawyer on your side. The business world is risky and dangerous, and one wrong move can put you in a situation of losing everything you have worked so hard for. Having a lawyer by your side when you are making crucial business decisions can do you a lot good.