27 articles Tag shopping

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!

5 Tips for Buying Pet Supplies Online

5 Tips for Buying Pet Supplies OnlinePets are some of the best companions that people keep at home. They can sometimes carry some errands for us. Pets can also be a good way to keep lonely people company and this is a healthy way to improve the lives of such people. Other than that, some pets can act as a source of security for you at home. For this reason, we want to keep our pets healthy, clean, well-fed and immunized all the time. We also want to ensure that the animals have the right kind of supplies all the time. When you want to buy supplies for The Pampered Pup online, you must do sufficient research so that you can get the best supplies there can be out there. The fact that different companies offer different qualities of supplies means that you must work hard to find suitable high-quality supplies for your pet.

So, whether you need to buy foods, drugs, or toys for your pet online, many factors and tips can guide you to the best supplies. Here are the tips to follow:

  1.   Check product information before you buy

Most pet owners will buy pet food online without getting to know more about such foods. The fact that there are many sellers means that not all of them can be trusted. You should read the ingredients of the foods to ensure that you are giving your pet healthy foods. You should also beware of companies that do not give details of the ingredients on food packaging. This is the first step to ensuring safety for your pets.

  1.   Choose reliable pet supplies brands

The brands of the pet supplies manufacturers matter a lot. For this reason, it is important that one is aware of the various manufacturers and what they are best known for. Even though some of the manufacturers of dog supplies items could be charging higher prices, they could be the best option you have for quality products. Again, research is paramount before one settles for any supplier.

  1.   What is the refund policy?

When you buy any item online, you need to be aware of the terms and conditions of the purchase. What will happen if the supplies you buy are not good for your pet? What is the return policy? After how long are you allowed to return or exchange the products? What about the warranty policy? If you are unsure, it is a good idea to read up on the terms of the website before making a purchase.

  1.   Check for offers from various online stores

We all love good deals. What are the offers that the various stores have? What do these offers say about the various sellers of pet supplies? Are there many people buying from the stores? This is a good way to gauge the quality and reliability of the sellers and their products.

  1.   Consider the prices and shipping fees

This is a very important factor that you should consider when looking for a suitable pet supplies seller online. We always want to make savings and buy the best quality supplies. Does the seller offer free shipping? Or how much will it cost you to buy and ship the supplies? Compare the various online stores and make a choice based on the best deals.

Are You Getting the Best Online Shopping Deals?

Who doesn’t love getting a great shopping deal? Let’s face it, there is just something so rewarding when you can scoop up a great deal, and chances are you’ll tell all your friends and family about it. So, imagine if there was a way to better your odds of finding those great deals? Imagine if you never had to feel like you over-paid for something ever again, and in fact you were getting a steal the majority of the time.

In order to make that a reality, we’ve gone ahead and put together some tips and tricks that will help ensure that you get the best online shopping deals each and every time.

Search for Discount Coupons

Before I buy anything online, I always make sure I do an online search for any discount or coupons for that store. There are coupons online for almost every shop, including Kohl’s coupons, and it’s a great way to save some money on your shop.

Find Sites That Locate the Deals for You

One of the best ways to scoop up all those great deals is to find a website that catalogs them all for you. This saves you a whole lot of time and hassle since you won’t have to jump from site to site looking for sales. A great example of such a site is the Upgraded Reviews site, which provides details on how you can save on everything from food to software. Because everything is categorized, you simply click on the category you are interested in and deals will pop up.

Do Comparison Shopping

Just like you would do in an actual brick and mortar store, it’s also a good idea to do comparison shopping online. This means searching various websites for pricing, warranty information, shipping fees, etc. Even if the product isn’t exact, you may find a close enough match that is much better priced by looking around.

Look for Free Shipping

Another area that you can save money on, and make your shopping deal that much sweeter, is to look for free shipping. Oftentimes websites offer free shipping on a minimum order. What this means is that you have to order a minimum number of products in order to get that free shipping. If you don’t have enough to reach that minimum, either wait until you have a bigger order, or see if you’ve got a friend that wants to go in on it with you and the two of you can then take advantage of the shipping deal.

Loyalty Member Discounts

First time shoppers and loyalty members can also be offered discounts and promotions online. Often if you sign up for a company’s e-newsletter, you’ll be treated to a one-time use discount code. This will obviously bring down the price of your purchase. Also, many companies have customer loyalty programs or rewards that provide you with free samples, discounts, exclusive deals and promotions, and early access to high-demand products.

Price Matching Can Be Done Online Too

It’s also important to note that many of the big retailers offer price-matching online now as well. What this means is that if you can find the same item for a lower price somewhere else, the price will be matched. What’s the point in this? Well maybe one site offers a better shipping rate or faster shipping.

Go Ahead and Leave Items in Your Cart

The final trick is to go ahead and leave items sitting in your cart. Often, you’ll end up getting an email with a savings code or coupon code that you can apply to that item in order to bring you back and close the sale.

Smart Shopping = Great Deals

By using all these smart tips and tricks, you’ll find that you are able to score the best online deals out there and never question if your purchase was worth it.

Christmas Preparation

Christmas PreparationChristmas seems to come around earlier and earlier each year. There’s the long school term; a drag which seems to take forever, and when (mercifully) the summer holidays roll around, they seem to come and go in a flash and before you know it you’re faced with the onslaught of the silly season.

For many, what is supposed to be a joyous time surrounded by family and friends, becomes a stressful, unenjoyable holiday that feels like more hard work than the rest of the year. Thankfully you can take the edge off with some canny planning and a fresh outlook, and these are our favourite ways to take the stress out of your Christmas.

Budget (and stick to it)

Money is perhaps the biggest source of stress for families during the Christmas period. Gifts, food, drink, decorations, evenings out; the list is endless. Take the money worries away and you’re already 9/10 of the way towards an enjoyable yuletide season.

By writing yourself a strict budget you can work out how much you have to spend on each necessity and take away much of the indecision that comes with your Christmas shopping by sticking to your budget 100%. No compromising.

Write down all of your expenses, allot each one an amount and lock it down! If it isn’t on your list, kick in into touch.

The internet is your friend

Ordering gifts online is a huge time and money saver but many people forget that you can actually order much of your consumable Christmas wares online too. There are some excellent online butchers who can send you your meats and if you buy alcohol online you’ll likely save a fortune on supermarket prices. Once those boxes arrive with your gin,  turkey and other tasty treats, you’ll feel the relaxation descend. Guaranteed.

Be prepared to say goodbye to the Christmas rituals

Most families have things that they always do at Christmas time, whether it’s hauling themselves through the crowds to the local panto or making sure they watch their favourite Christmas films in the right order, but you don’t have to do the same things you do year on year. Krampus won’t sneak up on you in the middle of the night if you forego It’s a Wonderful Life and spend some time other things you enjoy. When things that are supposed to be fun become a chore, it’s time to cut them loose.

Your house, your rules

If you’re catering for friends and family over the Christmas period, you’re going to want to make them feel comfortable and well looked after, but all too often the hostess (or host) feels like they have to make a raft of changes just to sate their guests, and many of us have guests who are quite happy to be vocal about what they’d do, were they you. Here’s the thing though: they aren’t you. Your home shouldn’t be somewhere where you feel frozen out at the expense of others who are only around for the day – and drawing a firm line will let everyone know where they stand.

The emergency present

This isn’t a new one by any means, but budget for (and buy) an auxiliary gift that will suit anyone – chocolates, champagne, a diary or planner – and wrap it up, just in case you’re faced with an unexpected plus one or someone else that you might have overlooked. Just knowing that you have an emergency gift tucked away will allow you to relax that little bit more.

If your family is packed with kids, maybe include a child-friendly option, too.

Embrace your daily rituals

While we think it’s important to be flexible about saying ta-ra to your Christmas rituals, we think it’s integral that you maintain the things that make you tick day-on-day. If you go for a run every morning, take a bath before bed or enjoy a few pages of your book after lunch, make time for these things during Christmas. You’ll find it easier to keep your head in the game if your simple pleasures are there for you.

Remember Christmas is for you too

We all get caught up in process of making sure our loved ones get the presents they want and our guests are fed their favourite foods and everyone is happy and content – but you must remember that applies to you as well. When you’re doing your online booze shop, throw in that nice bottle of fizz you’ve been denying yourself all year, or treat yourself to some new clothes, so that you can feel on the top of your game come Christmas day. You’ll feel better for it and maybe (maybe) when next Christmas rolls around, you won’t dread it quite so much.

5 Great Luxury Gifts for Your Man

Let’s be honest with each other here, as much as they wind us up, husbands and boyfriends are pretty great (usually). They’re our partners through life, helping us each step of the way! So when it comes to a special event, or when you’re just feeling grateful, it’s nice to get them something super special; a luxury item that they’ll be really thankful for.

These moments of love are great but equally, they come with a lot of pressure. You want to make sure that whatever you gift you choose is amazing and perfect but what are the options? How can you be sure it’s the best one for him? Fortunately, here we have a list of great choices to get your cogs turning, hope it helps!

Watches

Watches are a classic choice. Luxurious, stylish and suitable for both casual and formal events, you can’t really go wrong with a quality timepiece. On top of the general elegance, watches also serve a practical purpose that you can use all-year round (a rarity in most luxury items), so not only are you supplying your significant other with an exclusive piece of menswear, you’re also giving a gift they can actually make USE of. Everyone knows that practical gifts are the best ones.

Cufflinks

Cufflinks are an essential part of any man’s formal ensemble. They’re subtle, they’re fashionable and they can add that little bit of pizzazz to his look. The best part about giving cufflinks as a gift is that they come in so many different styles, making it easy to pick out unique designs that complement your spouse’s specific tastes. Tateossian cufflinks are some of the most distinctive and impressive available, definitely worth checking out to add that extra wow factor to your man’s outfit.

Cologne

Cologne is a typical gift option. Nowadays, designer fragrances can cost a fortune, bumping them up to the ’luxury gift’ zone, but boy are they worth it! There are few things as great as when your partner smells REALLY good, it just makes them more irresistible. On top of the great effects of cologne, as you’ll be the one buying it you can make sure you love the scent before purchasing. It’s a fool proof plan that results in a great smelling better half! Just to help you on your mission for the best fragrance, here’s Forbes’ nine best men’s colognes of 2018.

Sunglasses

The summer months have passed and we’re slowly edging into winter but that doesn’t mean sunglasses are a bad gift choice. Great for any bright day, sunglasses are versatile and useful all year round. One of the best things about sunglasses is the massive variety available. Everyone has different tastes, different styles and different looks, so why not look through your partner’s wardrobe and get a few ideas of the colours that might work? Alternatively, just ask him what he likes! Use articles that show off multiple styles to help you make an informed decision and you’ll find the perfect pair in no time.

Wallets

Last but not least, wallets are one of the few items that most men carry around everywhere, meaning they’re always going to appreciate an upgrade. Before you make your purchase though, it’s worth doing a little research. Take a look at what your partner’s wallet looks like already because clearly, they like that style, then find another that emulates it. It’s also worth keeping in mind the features available and the habits of your significant other. Does he carry change all the time? Then a coin pocket would be appropriate. Does he have LOADS of cards? Then make sure that whatever you pick has enough space to fit all of them. Regardless, there are so many styles of wallet available today that you should be able to find a suitable one easily.

These formal menswear gifts are great but there are hundreds of other luxury options, so don’t be afraid to experiment and pick out something your partner would love. Often the most unusual gifts are also the most thoughtful and the most loved.

Travelling in the U.K. #ExploringCheshire

If there’s one thing that Husband and I have realised this summer it’s that we want to do more stuff as a family all year round. We put so much pressure on ourselves in the holidays to pack in the days out and activities that we’re all a bit burnt out and the holidays seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. We decided that if we did more stuff for the rest of the year, there wouldn’t be a big rush in the 6-week break and we could enjoy it all a bit more.

We’ve vowed to travel more within the UK and see more of our lovely isles, and one place we’d like to go is Cheshire. It’s a great county with so much to offer (and it helps that it’s home to a lot of players from our beloved Liverpool FC!), and the lovely folk at Laurus Homes have made a really interesting infographic to show some of the best parts of the area:

Cheshire

Here are some of the places we’d love to visit:

Blue Planet Aquarium Ellesmere Port

Blue Planet is the largest aquarium in the North West and you can view Europe’s largest collection of sharks through our captivating 71-metre underwater tunnel – you can even swim with them! It’s also home to over 100 living displays and thousands of marine creatures from around the world, so you’re bound to find something fun for the whole family!

Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival

These days, I’m a bit too much of a lightweight for the intense environments of most music festivals, but one which showcases the best jazz and blues sounds right up my alley!

McArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks

The only thing I love more than shopping is getting a massive bargain and this retail park in Cheshire is a designer outlet, home to shops which give massive discounts off of designer brands!

Where in Cheshire would you love to visit?

The Ultimate Summer Holiday Shopping List

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplashpacking, 

The holidays should be a time to de-stress and have fun. One way to make sure that’s a reality is to get on top of everything you’ll need for your summer vacation!

Read on for your ultimate summer shopping list that’ll ensure your holiday is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Clothes and safe shades for cool kids

Get the kids set for summer with some sunglasses that have a high Eye Protection Factor (EPF). Those that are rated 9 and 10 block out almost all UV radiation. Not only will they look super adorable and stylish, but their eyes will be protected from sun’s harsh rays.

It’s also good to make sure that you’re bringing the clothes your children will actually need to wear. Pack tons of shorts and T-shirts so the kids can be active and have fun, as well as protective swimwear. If you’re spending all day at the beach, rash guard swimsuits are perfect. They come in seriously cute and colorful designs, so what’s not to love?

Bags and suitcases

Determine what kind of luggage you’re going to need for your trip. If you’re catching a flight, perhaps the kids can have their own carry-on suitcases. Not only will it give them a little independence and responsibility, but it’s less you’ll have to carry around yourself! Kids having their own little bags with quick-access compartments will mean a more comfortable, stress-free trip for everyone. A definite win-win!

Clothes and summer accessories for mom and dad

It can’t be all about the kids, right? Mom and dad deserve to look and feel fabulous while on holidays! Online shopping can be the best option for parents with limited time to go out shopping for themselves.

If you want to score yourself a bargain, you can find them on PromoCodeWatch. There’s an array of coupons to all your favorite stores, and you can even set up alerts to email you when there’s a sale or a great deal going.

Camera

The summer holidays are all about making memories that will last a lifetime, and what better way to remember the good times than with photographs?

You’ll want to get a camera that’s waterproof and shockproof, especially if any of the little ones are budding photographers. There are many compact cameras on the market, so you can pop one in your bag and always have it ready to capture special family moments.

Sun cream

This one is definitely a must-have! If you’re going to be in the sun all day, you need to be smart and protect yourself and your family. Aim for a sunscreen with SPF 50, though 30 will do too, and apply it every few hours.

Don’t be left red-faced, literally, by forgetting this. Nothing will ruin your holiday more than everyone complaining about their uncomfortable sunburn.

5 Ways to Save Money Ahead of Summer

save moneyI don’t know about you, but for us, this always seems to be an expensive time of year. Between birthdays, holidays, needing to spruce up the garden and all the other expenses that pop up, I seem to be spending money hand over fist at the moment. Because of this, I’ve been thinking about ways to save, so that we’re not skint by the time summer is over, and these are some of the things I came up with:

Shop Around

Recently, we needed to buy a new tumble drier, because our ancient one wasn’t really up to the job anymore, and because it was a big purchase we decided to shop around to make sure we got the best price. There are sites to look up the cheapest prices in the UK for just about everything you want to buy, and we scoured these before making our purchase.

Check Your Tarrifs

This is a great time of year to make sure you’re not paying over the odds for all of your bills, including gas, electricity, mobile bills, internet and TV. Providing you’re not at the beginning of a new contract, there is often room to negotiate with your service providers and could find yourself saving a significant amount each month (I recently did this with our BT will and am saving almost £40 per month on that one bill!

Scrimp on Fuel

Do you take the car on unnecessary short journeys where it would actually be possible to walk instead? I know SO many people who drive when they could walk and they’d save loads across the course of the month if they left the car at home. There are also websites and apps which tell you which petrol stations nearby are the cheapest, allowing you to get the best value there, too.

Use What’s in the House

We’re naughty when it comes to food and tend to buy our meals on a day-to-day basis, but recently I decided that we were going to actually use up what was in the house. It meant a few days of slightly odd meals that you probably wouldn’t eat ordinarily, but it saved us from buying new stuff and helped make space in the cupboard and freezer for new shopping.

Check Your Subscriptions

I know so many people who subscribe to the full TV package and never watch the channels, or have services like Netflix, Disney Life or Amazon TV and rarely use them. Do a stock-take of all of your subscriptions, including newspapers and magazines, and ditch any that you barely use.

How do you save money?

Sausage’s Ninth Birthday Gift Guide

In just twelve short days Sausage, my tiny ginger bundle of happiness and wild imagination, will be turning nine. I genuinely cannot get my head around the fact that I’ve been a mother for NINE whole years, and I’m so proud of the amazing little human she’s become. On the down-side, Husband and I have discovered that shopping for an almost-nine year old is so much harder than it was to shop for an 8-year old. She’s less interested in toys and more interested in Dr. Martens and ear piercings (she’s just had her second lobe piercing and now is basically the coolest kid in her whole school!).

We’ve been wracking our brains about what to buy for her and, aside from consulting BannerExperts for her birthday banner, have come up with a few suggestions so far, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you here:

Converse

She’s already got a leather black-on-black pair which she wears as school shoes, as well as a silver pair, but she’s definitely her mother’s daughter in her love of Converse so I reckon another pair in a super colour or print would go down really well. Clothes become a much more viable gift when they’re this age, so this is definitely on the list for this year.

Perfume

Okay, so this is much a present for me as it is for Sausage – she’s suddenly developed a bit of a fascination with my perfume collection, which is fine, but my bottles aren’t cheap and hey seem to be running out FAR too quickly! Vivienne Westwood make scents which smell incredible but are also a little bit edgy – she’s quite into her punky stuff at the moment, so a perfume made by the woman to styled the Sex Pistols will definitely go down well!

Jewellery

Sausage is a major accessoriser; no outfit is complete for her without co-ordinating earrings, a few bracelets and a necklace, not to mention the hair bows! She’s got such a gorgeous, unique style that I’m always in awe of, and Husband and I love encouraging her individuality. As I mentioned above, she’s now got her ears pierced twice on each lobe so the potential for new earrings has doubled! She’s already got her eye on some which are specific for double piercings, which a little chain between the two and they definitely fit her new punky look.

Roller Skates

She’s not massively into toys anymore but one thing that she has mentioned wanting is a pair of roller skates. Full disclosure: I HATE the idea of roller skates!! For me, they’re a one-way ticket to fractured wrists and bruised coccyges, but I can’t wrap her up in cotton wool forever…as much as I’d love to!

A Keyboard

She’s mentioned wanting to learn an instrument for a while now and although we don’t have space in our house for a full piano, we DO have room for a decent electric keyboard. She already owns a little one that she got a few Christmases ago, but that’s more of a toy, so we want to get her one with a full set of keys so that she can learn to play properly. It’ll fit in our dining room nicely with a proper stand and a stool.

Do you have a nine year old? What did they want for their birthday? Leave me a comment below!

Styling the New Me

I’m still nowhere near the end of my weightloss journey, but I have lost enough now to notice that many of my clothes are now miles too big. This was okay when the weather was cold and I could just wear belts on the jeans and chuck a hoody on, but now it’s summer again (or at least pretending to be!) I’m finding it a lot harder. A few weeks ago, I decided to get my summer dresses out and all but one of them hung off of me like a potato sack! I’m not keen to to go and spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe but I think there are probably a few key items that I can buy which won’t look outrageous once I’ve gone down another dress-size or two.

The thing I’m really struggling with though, is HOW to dress. Since gaining weight, I tend to opt for The Mum Uniform which consists of a selection of t-shirts, skinny jeans and cardigans. Every single outfit I wear is some variation on this theme and while I’m not planning to get to a size 10 and suddenly start going out in hotpants, I don’t really know what my style even is anymore. The last time I enjoyed shopping and was even ABLE to shop in non-plus-size shops, I was in my very early twenties, newly married and child-free. Now that I’m a mother of two and in my thirties, I feel quite stumped.

For summer, I reckon maxi dresses are a good bet. Any that I buy now will hopefully be too big by next summer, but I’ve seen lots of people styling maxi dresses with a big belt, or even wearing ones which are really baggy, so I think that could be an investment worth making. They’re ‘girlie’ and summery but don’t bare loads of flesh which makes them ideal for school runs on a hot day.

I have noticed already that shopping is significantly easier JUST from loosing one dress size. Previously, shopping for an 18 meant that there were lots of places I couldn’t shop at all and my body shape made it impossible to find things which suited me. A few weeks ago, I went to a wedding reception and needed a dress. I was DREADING going shopping because it’s usually such an ordeal. I go from shop to shop, getting more upset and frustrated that I either can’t find anything I like or nothing fits me properly.

This time, however, I went to ONE department store, picked up about 5 dresses, tried them on and managed to find something I loved with just one trip to the changing rooms. It was probably the happiest shopping experience I’ve had in over a decade.

From now on, I’m going to try to keep a positive head on when I go shopping as I think it makes it much easier to find something I like, instead of getting into a funk in my head and not wanting to look any further. I may even take the liberty of using a personal shopper to help me find some items that I love at some point in the future!

What’s your shopping style? Have you had a body overhaul which has meant that you’ve needed a new wardrobe? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.