18 December 2014

Blue jobs v pink jobs – the big cleaning divide

With so much to squeeze into an average day, it’s no wonder many people rely on cleaning companies such as Molly Maid to keep their homes in order. Professionals have the know-how to leave everything sparkling, but what happens when men and women are forced to do the housework for themselves? Well, it seems there is such a thing as blue and pink jobs with many chores being done primarily by one sex or the other.

That’s right, according to a recent survey by Mumsnet, women do the lion’s share of work around the home with 66 per cent admitting they wouldn’t want help from their partner for fear they might do the tasks badly. Results showed that 71 per cent of working mothers are responsible for the weekly clean, 77 per cent are responsible for washing, 63 per cent do more tidying up, and 57 per cent do all or most of the ironing. 

17 December 2014

Setting the stage: simple tips to make your home more valuable

Staging is the process of preparing your property for sale with an aim to render it as appealing as possible. Though the culmination may result in you debating whether you even want to leave such a pleasant abode, it can help sell your property faster and increase its value.

Whether you’re thinking of selling soon, or considering the possibility several months down the line, the following simple tips can provide a real boon.

Clear the way
During staging, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that it’s all for the prospective buyers. You might think your living room exudes a cosy ambience, but to a fresh pair of eyes it might look like clutter-central, population: “not me”.

Decluttering is an easy and inexpensive first step that can boost your property’s value and help you enjoy it more in the meantime. After all, as well as putting off realtors, bank appraisers or viewers, clutter has been reported to cause negative psychological effects like stress.

If the task ahead looks beyond the abilities of Mary Poppins, you could hire a professional clearance company. With a considered choice you can get an affordable clearance made possible through waste

Chocolate Brownie Christmas Trees

With so much festive food in the stores ready for Christmas it's a pretty good time to indulge; you can always think about the calories in the New Year!

The Mini Mes have their end of term parties this week before they break up for the holiday so we have been making some treats of our own too. I'd normally pop to the shop and purchase some fruit, crisps and a few other nibbles for all of the children at school quickly but thanks to shopping online with PayPal this year I seem to be really organised. I have a lot more spare time to do some baking, something that I really enjoy and the Mini Mes do too, snuggle up to watch some Christmas movies and do some Christmas crafts. PayPal also has a great competition to win up to £1000 to reimburse some of your shopping which would be lovely wouldn't it!

A Family Feast with Frankie & Benny's

Frankie & Benny's is a place where we have enjoyed dining at several times over the past few years. It has a large menu with dishes to suit most tastes and a lovely relaxed atmosphere; it's somewhere you can take young children and enjoy a family meal comfortably with reasonable prices.
We were pleased to be invited back recently to try the updated menu and I quickly set a time and date for our booking, as I was eager for a night away from the kitchen (and dishwasher) and some delicious food.

16 December 2014

My Too Honest Tween

I'm quite an honest person, brutally so at times probably, but I'd rather hurt someone with the truth than lie to their face or gossip behind their back. I think it means people can trust me well and reach out when they need to; if you ask me if your bum looks big in something I will let you know! Many people will come to me with details of their love life, surprise party ideas etc to hear what my thoughts really are on the matter and to seek advice which I think is lovely.

I obviously wouldn't want to offend if it can be helped but I'm certainly reliable if you want a friend that won't beat about the bush. I do believe it is better to be open, although I will always try my best to say things in the nicest possible way not to upset anyone. I'd hate to do that unnecessarily so and you can definitely be truthful and kind together. I think.

Minxy seems to be developing a similar trait and she has already created some amazing friendships where she too can speak quite openly about how she feels. We also have a good mother daughter relationship where we can discuss everything and not keep secrets from one another which is how I hope things will always be. It would appear that she hasn't quite learnt any tact just yet though and I've told her a few times that her opinions can be shared but she needs to focus on being more gentle in the process.

She might need another lesson in this after a few incidents we had last week.... eek!

When walking home from school:

Me: Did you have a good day?
Minxy: Yea, my friend was upset that she wasn't going to the pantomime though.
Me: Aww that's a shame. There is always next year. What did she say?
Minxy: She said that she really wanted to go but couldn't. I told her that some people can go and others can't and that she needed to just get over it.
Me: .....

11 December 2014

Berndes One Pot Wonder - Red Wine Beef Stew Recipe (WIN)

You may have already heard but Tesco are running another great sticker promotion (between 29th September – 25th January 2015) where you can save up to 70% on exclusive Berndes cookware products. It's a great way to replace your old pots and pans for the New Year and save money in the process, just by doing your usual grocery shopping! 

For every £20 you spend online OR in-store you can collect a sticker and once you’ve collected five you can use these to get your discount on professional kitchenware items. Tesco sent us an Oval Cast Iron Casserole to put to the test and with it being winter I decided to make one of our favourite family dishes. It is a great quality product, heavyweight and it minimises washing up as I can pop everything in the one pot!

10 December 2014

A Family Guide To Surviving The Holidays

It’s that time of the year when you go home to your family and spend the holidays with them. Although family bonding during the holidays can be great, tempers can be tested at times, especially if you have extended family coming over to ask you personal questions in front of everyone!

Don’t put a damper on your holidays. Here are a few tips on how you can survive the holidays.

  • Pace yourself – If you are going back to your family home for the holidays, pace yourself. You don’t need to spend every minute with your family. This is also your vacation and you need time to spend by yourself, especially if you’re an introvert. 
Schedule your visit and take time to do things by yourself as well as spending quality time with your family.
  • Make lists – With the holiday rush, there are some people you tend to forget. Make it a point to list down the people you’d like to visit, the parties you will be attending, and the people who you need to buy gifts for.

The Flu Vaccine - Protecting Your Children This Winter

The bugs are back in town. That's right; it's that time of year again when the tissues come out and the coughs creep back in. Flu can develop quickly and leave us feeling quite unwell indeed. With many of us not wanting to miss work or school and definitely not wanting to be poorly over the magical festive period in particular, it might be worth booking your family in for a flu vaccine today. 

Facts about flu

  • In an average flu season in England, flu affects up to 10% of children aged 0 – 14 years
  • Children are the main transmitters of flu and pass the virus on for longer than adults. For every 10 children who missed school because of flu-associated illness, eight household members subsequently became ill

WIN A Voucher To Spend At The Home Decor Company

The Home Decor Company is a family run business based within England that sells lots of lovely finishing touches for your home, whether you prefer a traditional style or something more modern.

The website is incredibly easy to navigate and you can shop via the available categories which include clocks, photo frames, ornaments and cushions (plus many more) or by selecting the room that you want to purchase a product for. It doesn't get much easier than that!

They accept a variety of bank cards and Paypal (the method I like to use most online for added security) so shopping is quick and straight forward too - the best way to be.

Why not pick up a few Christmas gifts now or treat yourself!

08 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - The Children's Edition

With the Christmas countdown truly underway, it's time to pick up and purchase all of the lovely gifts you will be popping under the tree for your little ones to open this December. Whether they prefer beauty and dolls or construction and crafts there is something to put a smile on any face with my ideas below.

The Mini Mes and Me Christmas Gift Guide

How to teach children about saving energy

You might be looking for ways to cut down the cost of the energy bill at home but it doesn’t just have to be the adults' job to look out for a rogue light left on or a dripping tap - get the kids involved as well.

You can find advice and ideas from organisations, such as the Energy Saving Trust, on how to save energy and then get to work on encouraging the kids to take an interest.

It’s important that little ones view energy saving as a fun task: screeching at them when they leave the TV on when no one is in the room won’t get you very far.

Make them feel like a superhero and tell them that by turning off the lights and shutting all the doors that they are saving the world, one flick of the switch at the time. If they want to wear a cape whilst undertaking their energy saving duties, don’t stop them!

30 November 2014

Christmas Gift Giveaway - Day 30 (FINAL)

My #ChristmasGiftGiveaway is back - 30 days 30+ prizes!
A BIG thank you to my followers for their support this year.

WIN a Torq Chaotic Scooter from Ozbozz Toys

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